The Supreme Court of India said on September 22 that it would list out pleas on the issues of marital rape for hearing in mid-October. The pleas raised the legal question of whether a husband is entitled to immunity from prosecution for the offence of rape if he forced his wife, who is not a minor, to have sex with him.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra took note of the submission made by lawyer Karuna Nundy that the pleas needed to be heard.
SC To Hear Pleas On Marital Rape In Mid-October
The bench said that it was in the midst of a constitution bench hearing and that it would list this after the constitution bench matters were wrapped up. The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and other lawyers were asked how much time they would require to advance their arguments.
The law officer said that it would take two days, adding that this issue has social ramifications. A counsel for the petitioners said that they would like to argue the case for three days.
The CJI DY Chandrachud, then quipped that the hearing could be listed in April next year and later said the pleas would be listed in mid-October.
Earlier, advocate Indira Jaising had mentioned the urgency of hearing the pleas regarding marital rape.
Section 375 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code is challenged as it exempts a husband from being prosecuted for rape (for having non-consensual sexual intercourse with his wife) if she is an adult.
The CJI said that we have to resolve the matters concerning marital rape, adding that the matters are to be heard by a three-judge bench and will be listed for hearing after the five-judge constitution bench concludes the hearing of some of the listed cases.
On January 16, the top court sought the centre’s response to the petitions pertaining to criminalising marital rape and the Indian penal code provision on it.
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