SC notice on plea against Karnataka HC order allowing trial of man for raping wife

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice on an appeal challenging the Karnataka High Court order, allowing the trial of a man for allegedly raping his wife.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana issued notice to the Karnataka government and the woman complainant in the matter, after the husband moved the top court challenging the high court order.

Senior advocate Siddharth Dave, representing the petitioner, urged the top court to stay the trial, which is scheduled to begin from May 29. The bench – also comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Krishna Murari – said that it would hear the matter in July, and the trial court can be informed that it was seized of the case.

The petitioner challenged the March 23 judgement, which said the exception granted to husband under Section 375 of the IPC cannot be absolute.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising appeared for the wife on caveat.

A single judge bench of the high court said the institution of marriage cannot be used as a license for unleashing a “brutal beast” on the wife. It said it is for the lawmakers to ponder over existence of such inequalities in law and for ages man donning the robes of a husband has used the wife as his chattel.

The high court said: “A brutal act of sexual assault on the wife, against her consent, albeit by the husband, cannot but be termed to be a rape. Such sexual assault by a husband on his wife will have grave consequences on the mental sheet of the wife, it has both psychological and physiological impact on her.”

Notably, the Delhi High Court had already reserved its verdict on a batch of matters, which have challenged the validity of Exception 2 of Section 375, which decriminalises marital rape.




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