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Senior Advocate Rebecca John faces heat on her stance of Criminalizing Marital Rape

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Senior Advocate REBECCA JOHN Law insider

Nishka Srinivas Veluvali

Published On: January 25, 2022 at 18:48 IST

The Amicus Curiae Senior Advocate Rebecca John informed the Delhi High Court that she been receiving a lot of hate for her stand on the issue of the Marital Rape.

The Petitions have posed challenge to the Exemption 2 of Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that excludes husbands from beings charged under the mentioned Section if they have forceful sexual relations with their wives.

The matter when came to the hearing today, the Amicus Curiae informed the Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar that many people had asked her to protect herself from the issue as she is openly supporting the Criminalisation of Marital rape.

In response to this Justice Shakdher queried that who is the one asking her to be careful on which she responded that she has been receiving lot of hate for her stand over this Case.

Justice Shankar stated that, “Every intelligent person has a view on everything and by that logic, everyone should rescue themselves from hearing every Case”.

John submitted to Court various other Section of the Indian Penal Court which address forceful sexual relation with the married women,Under the structure of penal code, all offences are distinct although they may have some overlapping issues. Therefore, to argue that a woman has remedy under other acts or sections is not a tenable argument. They exist but for distinct and other offences. Section 375 is separate and there is no reason why 498A can be used as a substitute for 375. It can be used in addition but not as a substitute… My limited argument is that there can be base offences and aggravated. Some elements may be common. To say a wife has efficacious other remedies is the argument I cannot agree with. They exist in very very different spaces”.

Referring to the previous Judgements, she further informed the Court that even though the Court did not hold marital rape as an Offence but it a widespread phenomenon that has been existing in the society for centuries and is illegal in more than 50 countries.

She further referred to the Landmark Judgement of Navtej Jauhar vs the State of Tamil Nadu and the Vishaka Judgement and asked the Court to take these Judgements into consideration.

While referring to the Vishaka Judgement, Amicus Curiae stated that, It is now a settled position of law that international conventions and laws can be read into our domestic law. India’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women also require and provide for Exception 2 to Section 375 to be struck down,”

The Bench stated that this issue is pertaining since 2015 and it is not yet clear with the fact why no one has intervened for all these years.

The Court has listed the further hearing on Tuesday and asked Advocate Raj Kapoor to submit his arguments for the intervenors opposing the Petition.

Also read: Sexual Offences