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HC seeks Centre's clarification whether it wants to withdraw its affidavit related to marital rape

ANI | Updated: Jan 28, 2022 22:39 IST

New Delhi [India], January 28 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Centre to inform whether it wants to withdraw its earlier affidavit in which it had submitted that marital rape cannot be made a criminal offence.
A Bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar asked Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma to seek instructions on this regard and listed the matter for further hearing on January 31.
The court queries came when the petitioner Advocate Karuna Nundy apprised the court that the government has filed two affidavits and written submissions in the matter.
Advocate Karuna Nundy sought clarification on whether she will respond to the earlier affidavit filed in 2017 or the fresh affidavit and written submission.
The central Government in 2017's affidavit opposed the plea demanding criminalisation of marital rape. Contrary to that, the government, in its fresh affidavit filed on January 12, 2022, said that they have sought suggestions from various stakeholders as the government is in process of making comprehensive amendments in criminal laws.
The government had apprised the court earlier that the government is taking a consultative approach on the issue relating to marital rape.
Meanwhile, during the hearing, the counsel of both sides shared that they are receiving flak and threats.

Appearing for Men Welfare Trust (MWT), Advocate J Sai Deepak, informed the Court that they are receiving flak due to some misreporting in the media, and clarified that the organization is not against recognition of spousal violence.
Advocate Nundy also informed about the rape threats that she is receiving and said that they must focus on the points of law.
The bench also remarked that till the time when the hearing concludes, the court may also get flak.
Advocate J Sai Deepak has submitted that the judiciary has to restrain themselves while exercising powers of judicial review and they cannot direct the Parliament to make a particular kind of enactment. He also argued that the Courts have a limited role in the aspect of policy and the judiciary has a larger role on the issue of civil liberties.
He has cited various judgements that the court shall not intervene with the issues and concluded his submission saying that the Lakshman Rekha has to be drawn in light of the judgements cited by him.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions including by the NGOs RIT Foundation and All India Democratic Women's Association who have challenged an exception to section 375 to the Indian Penal Code.
The exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, says sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape. (ANI)