Ought to ‘marital rape’ be criminalised in India? The problem has been hotly debated for months. Earlier this 12 months, the Delhi Excessive Court docket started listening to ultimate arguments in a sequence of public curiosity litigations (PILs) difficult the “marital rape exception” clause in Part 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On Wednesday, the excessive courtroom delivered its verdict – an deadlock. The 2-judge bench of justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Harishanker gave dissenting judgments. Whereas Justice Rajiv Shakdher stated vouched for criminalisation of ‘marital rape’, Justice C Harishanker got here to the alternative conclusion.

Now, the matter should be heard by the Supreme Court docket.

Here is a take a look at the journey of the marital rape debate within the Delhi Excessive Court docket:

THE MARITAL RAPE DEBATE

The center of the talk is Exception 2 to Part 375 of the IPC, which states that any sexual act carried out by a person on his personal spouse just isn’t rape so long as the spouse just isn’t a minor.

Part 375 defines varied acts that, if performed towards a girl’s consent, by power, fraud, or coercion, or to a girl incapable of giving consent, are outlined as rape.

IN THE DELHI HIGH COURT | TIMELINE

2015 – The NGO RIT Basis petitioned the Delhi Excessive Court docket and challenged the legality of the ‘marriage exception’ within the rape regulation. Listening to started within the case. The excessive courtroom issued a discover to the Centre and Delhi authorities.

2016 – Centre filed an affidavit taking the stand that marital rape can’t be criminalised as it could have a damaging affect on Indian society.

2017 – The All India Democratic Ladies’s Affiliation (AIDWA) and Khushboo Saifi, a marital rape survivor, filed related petitions.

The identical 12 months, the Centre filed an affidavit opposing the pleas submitted by petitioners, stating that marital rape can’t be made a prison offence because it might change into an instance that will “destabilise the establishment of marriage”.

December 2021 – After years of remaining adjourned, the listening to within the case resumed.

January 2022 – The Centre filed written submissions within the excessive courtroom stating that criminalisation “might open the floodgates of litigation” and false allegations.

February 1, 2022 – The Centre advised the excessive courtroom that it was “re-looking” at its earlier stand on petitions in search of criminalisation of marital rape. The federal government additionally acknowledged that it had begun consultations with all states and varied stakeholders since a stand can’t be taken on the problem with out session.

February 2022 – The Delhi Excessive Court docket reserved its verdict and requested the Centre to take a stand on the problem.

Might 11, 2022 – The Delhi Excessive Court docket delivered a break up verdict.

WHAT HAVE OTHER COURTS SAID?

In August 2021, the Chhattisgarh Excessive Court docket acquitted a person of marital rape by ruling that sexual activity between legally wedded man and girl just isn’t rape even whether it is by power or towards the needs of the spouse.

In March this 12 months, the Karnataka Excessive Court docket, whereas listening to a petition filed by a person in search of to quash costs of rape by his spouse, had stated that marriage isn’t any license to “unleash a brutal beast”. The landmark order allowed the framing of rape costs towards a person accused of forcing his spouse to be a “intercourse slave”.

The Supreme Court docket, which later heard the person’s plea difficult the Karnataka Excessive Court docket, declined to remain the courtroom judgment which had refused to quash the case of marital rape filed towards him primarily based on a grievance by his spouse.

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