Marital Rape case: Delhi HC highlights huge ramifications of decision

On December 4th the Delhi High Court heard the petitions filed by NGO RIT Foundation and All India Democratic Women’s Association seeking to criminalise the act of marital rape. A bench comprising of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar heard the petitions.

In August this year the Centre argued against such criminalisation stating that it would destroy the institution of marriage. Senior Advocate Raju Ramachandran who is amicus curiae in the matter has stated that he will make his submissions before the bench after hearing the pleas of both sides.

Advocate Karuna Nundy appearing on behalf of petitioners presented studies before the bench to make her submissions for declaring marital rape as a criminal offence. She referred to 2005 data of National Crime Records Bureau.

The bench of the Delhi High Court stated that the issue would have huge ramifications in society and scheduled the next date of hearing for January 2nd, 2018.

In October, the Supreme Court held that the act of a husband having sex with his wife in the age category of 15 to 18 years would qualify as rape under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code in the case of Independent Thought v. Union of India. The bench read down the exception 2 to the rape provision given under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code which previously held that husband having sex with a wife in this age bracket would not qualify as rape.