NGO raises questions on marital rape, petition filed in Supreme Court

IndiaNGO raises questions on marital rape, petition filed in Supreme Court
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Opposing the criminalization of marital rape, a non-governmental organization (NGO) has approached the Supreme Court saying it would destabilize the institution of marriage.

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The plea filed by Barkha Trehan, chairperson of NGO ‘Purusha Aayog Trust’, has sought intervention in various petitions challenging the criminalization of marital rape and provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that prohibit forcible sexual intercourse with an adult wife. However, protection has been provided to the husband.

The petition states that the principle of separation of powers is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution and the power to declare any provision as an offense rests entirely with the legislature.

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The petition, filed through advocate Vivek Narayan Sharma, said that in the last few years, several such incidents have come to the fore across the country where men committed suicide due to false allegations made by women.

The top court had sought the Centre’s response on petitions seeking criminalization of marital rape and against provisions protecting the husband from prosecution for rape in case of forcible intercourse by the wife when the wife is an adult.

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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud that the issue has legal as well as “social implications” and the government would like to file its response to these petitions.

The top court has asked all the parties to file their written submissions by March 3 for smooth hearing of the petitions. The court has appointed advocates Pooja Dhar and Jayakriti Jadeja as nodal counsels.

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