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SC Issues Notice, Takes Cognizance of Pleas Against Delhi HC’s Marital Rape Verdict; Hearing in Feb 2023

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Priyanka Singh

Published on: September 16, 2022 at 22:01 IST

The Supreme Court issued notice on petitions challenging the split verdict of the Delhi High Court on marital rape.

The bench consisted of Justices Ajay Rastogi and B.V Nagarathna.

Advocate Karuna Nundy, appearing for All India Democratic Women’s Association, stated that marital rape is a substantial question of law and has been through a split decision; it is now the Apex Court where it has to be decided.

Senior Advocate Gopal Shankarnarayan also appeared with a short submission explaining that the case had been pending since 2017 and that, it took 19 times over three years to get the matter listed on the list to be heard.

The Court took cognizance of the pleas and has agreed to hear the issue regarding marital rape in the February of 2023.

The Split Verdict –

On May 11th, the Delhi High Court bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and C. Hari Shankar decided a bi-directional judgment on the pleas against the anomaly of marital rape from Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, exempting rape by a man of his wife.

Justice Shakdher held that the husband being an exception from the offence of marital rape is unconstitutional; therefore, he struck down the Exception 2 from Sections 375 and 376B IPC as being violative of Article 14.

On the contrary, Justice Hari Shankar held that Exception 2 of Section 375 IPC was not violative of the Constitution, holding it to be an intelligible differentia.