Marital Rape: Delhi HC to hear Intervention Application of Men’s Association

Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: January 21, 2022 at 16:02 IST

The Delhi High Court will be hearing an Intervention Application filed by the Men’s Association in the Marital Rape Case, RIT Foundation v. Union of India and other matters related to it.

The Bench comprises of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar. The Intervention Application was filed through Advocates Vivek Narayan Sharma, Aditya Manubarwala, and Shoaib Haider.

The Intervention Application was filed by the Men’s Association through Chairman Barkha Trehan under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC).

The Writ Petition was regarding the abolition of exception under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The exception states, “Sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, the wife not being less than fifteen years of age, is not Rape.”

A set of Petitions filed before the Delhi High Court stated that the elimination of the exception in question would Criminalize Marital Rape. The Petitioner stated that the exception was violative of the Right to Dignity of women and their personal and sexual autonomy.

Senior Advocates Rajashekhar Rao and Rebecca M John were appointed as Amicus Curie by the Delhi High Court, both of them support the Criminalization of Marital Rape.

The Men’s Association, a civil society organization deals with the issues of men and fights for their Rights. The Applicant submitted that the Law correctly distinguished between married and unmarried women. The consent and desire for sexual acts was inherent in marriages.

The Applicant argued that Rape was in question only when a husband had sex with his wife without her consent when she had left his company, which was equivalent to not giving the consent of having sex. In case of such a situation, an offence of Marital Rape is committed under Section 376B of IPC.

The Intervention Application argued that the Writ Petition required the Judiciary to perform a Legislative Act. It also mentioned that Exception II to Section 375 IPC was in consonance with the Fundamental Rights, and hence was Constitutional.

The Applicant argued that married women were provided with protection under many Laws but the misuse or abuse was the concern. If Exception II is abolished then it would be easy to harass husbands and the innocent ones would be affected in case of absence of Evidence.

It was also argued that the Criminalization of Marital rape would lead to destabilization of the institution of marriage.

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