The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it will hear the plea challenging the constitutional validity of Exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, related to the marital rape issue on May 9.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud listed the matter for May 9 for hearing.
Senior Advocate Indira Jaising and Advocate Karuna Nundy mentioned the matter before CJI DY Chandrachud.
Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta apprised the top court that the Centre's reply is ready and will only have to be vetted. "Centre will file its reply soon", he added.
Senior Advocate Indira Jaising apprised the court that the order of arguments and common compilation in the matter is ready and counsels have divided time.
Various petitions were filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the exception to marital rape issue.
One petition is against the Karnataka HC judgement, which declined to quash the charge of rape against a man accused of raping and keeping his wife as a sex slave.
Another petition has sought the striking down Exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which immunes the husband of criminal charges for non-consent sex with his wife in a marital relationship. The petition was filed by one activist Ruth Manorama through the advocate on record Ruchira Goel.
Exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which defines rape, states that sexual intercourse by a man with his wife is not rape unless the wife is below 15 years of age.
Earlier All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) among others moved the Supreme Court against Delhi High Court's split verdict on issues relating to criminalising marital rape matters.
Two judges Bench of Delhi HC on May 12 2022 pronounced a split verdict on an issue relating to criminalising marital rape. Delhi HC's Judge Justice Rajiv Shakdher ruled in favour of criminalising while Justice Hari Shankar disagreed with the opinion and held that Exception 2 to Section 375 does not violate the Constitution as it is based on intelligible differences.
AIDWA was represented by advocate Karuna Nundy and the plea was filed through advocate Rahul Narayan.
AIDWA, in its plea, said that the exception allowed to marital rape is destructive and in opposition to the object of rape laws, which clearly ban sexual activity sans consent. It places the privacy of a marriage on a pedestal above the rights of the woman in the marriage.
The petition said that Marital Rape Exception is in violation of Articles 14, 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution. (ANI)