SC reserves verdict on criminalising marital rape

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a plea seeking clarification if a man’s physical relation with his wife below 18 years of age amounts to rape or not.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by an NGO seeking to make marital rape a criminal offence.

Earlier, the hearing was to be carried out by the Delhi High Court, but they put it on hold after learning that the SC has taken up for hearing of a petition on a similar matter.

The HC then asked the parties before it to find out if the issues raised before it in the petitions seeking to make marital rape an offence are similar to those being heard by the apex court.

The NGO, who had filed the plea is opposing this as they argue that while SC is hearing a plea questioning the validity of a provision under the IPC permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife, even if she was aged between 15 and 18 years.

The issue before the HC is different as the PILs challenge the constitutionality of Section 375 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the ground that it discriminates against married women being sexually assaulted by their husbands. (ANI)