A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court’s split verdict on the criminalisation of marital rape, Bar and Bench reported on Tuesday.
Khushboo Saifi, who was one of the petitioners in the Delhi High Court, has filed an application in the Supreme Court which got registered on Tuesday morning.
On May 11, Justices C Hari Shankar and Rajiv Shakdher had passed a split verdict on a batch of petitions seeking to do away with Exception 2 of the rape law under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. The exception states that forcible sexual intercourse by a man with his wife is not rape unless the wife is below 15 years of age.
Shakdher had held that the exception was unconstitutional.
“The impugned provisions in so far as they concern a husband having intercourse with his wife without consent are violative of Article 14 [right to equality] and are struck down,” he wrote in his judgement.
However, Shankar said that he disagreed with Shakdher’s decision to strike down the immunity to husbands. He upheld the validity of sections 376B (sexual intercourse by husband upon his wife during separation is punishable) and 198B (no court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable where the persons are in a marital relationship).
The appeal filed by Saifi, one of the two individual petitioners in the case, is the first plea in the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict. Senior Advocate Karuna Nundy, who had appeared for two of the petitioners in the High Court, had said after the judgement that her clients will move the Supreme Court.
Two non-governmental organisations, RIT Foundation and All India Democratic Women’s Association, and another individual are the other petitioners in the case.