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Hearing on the petitions challenging exception to Sec 375 of IPC adjourned

January 13, 2022 08:41 PM

New Delhi, Delhi High Court on Thursday adjourned hearing on the petitions challenging the exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code which exempts a person from the definition of rape if he commits forceful sexual intercourse with his own wife, provided the wife is above 15 years of age.

Two Non Government Organization (NGO) All India Democratic Association and RIT Foundation have filed the petition in Delhi High Court challenging the exception provided under section 375 of Indian Penal Code(IPC) and submitted that in a 2017 case a 27 year old woman alleged that she was raped by her husband.


Rajasekhar Rao, a Senior Advocate and Amicus Curiae submitted before the court that rape is rape and the exception provided in the section 375 of IPC is violative of Article 14 which defines right to equality and Article 21 which defines right to life and liberty under the Constitution.
He further submitted that woman would prosecute a man for committing rape with her then why such a woman is denied the ability to call it a rape if that man was her husband and why woman is not able to prosecute him for rape.
He further submitted that High Court is a constitutional Court having positive obligation to strike it down.
He contended before Delhi High Court that the act of non consensual sexual intercourse or rape is abhorrent and inherently violative of the basic right to life and liberty of a woman under Article 21

He said that such type of act by man is an offence which violates a woman's right to equality, dignity, bodily integrity, personal and sexual autonomy, bodily and decisional privacy and reproductive choices.
He submitted that the absence of consent is the foundation of the offence of rape under Section 375 and that the decriminalization of an act by a husband, when that act would otherwise constitute rape, is based upon the archaic belief that the very act of marriage presumes consent by the wife for sexual intercourse with the husband.
He also submitted the example of a sex worker who can prosecute a man for rape if he indulges in sexual intercourse without her consent.


Delhi High Court Justice C. Hari Shankar and Justice Shakdher adjourned the matter for furthur hearing.

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