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SC to form 3-judge bench to take up pleas for criminalising marital rape 

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had on May 11, 2022 given a split verdict with regard to the exception for husbands as concerns sexual assault under the penal law.
Last Updated : 19 July 2023, 15:31 IST

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday said a bench of three judges will hear a plea for criminalisation of marital rape after the Constitution benches completed hearing of listed matters.

"We have to resolve the matters concerning marital rape," a bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud said upon an urgent mentioning made by senior advocate Indira Jaising.

Jaising claimed that her case deals with the child sexual abuse case also arising out of the Karnataka High Court's March 2022 judgement. In November, 2022, the Karnataka government supported before the top court the March 23, 2022 judgement of the High Court which had declined to quash the charges of rape framed under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against a man accused of raping his wife, despite the exception to the husband. The allegation against the man also related to offences under the POCSO Act.

On this, the CJI said a three-judge bench would have to hear the matter and it will be listed after five-judge constitution benches completes hearing on currently listed matters.

Among the currently listed matters are petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 as well as the light motor vehicle case.

The apex court has fixed a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution with regard to special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir for hearing in August.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Chandrachud is also hearing petitions dealing with the legal question of whether a person holding a driving licence for a light motor vehicle (LMV) is entitled to legally drive a transport vehicle.

In January this year, the apex court had sought the Centre’s reply on pleas related to criminalisation of marital rape and the provision of the IPC which provides protection to a husband against prosecution for forcible sexual intercourse if the wife is an adult.

The Centre had said that this issue has social implications and sough time to file its reply.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had on May 11, 2022 given a split verdict with regard to the exception for husbands as concerns sexual assault under the penal law.

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Published 19 July 2023, 07:19 IST

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