HC to continue hearing marital rape issue

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday said there was no obstruction before it to hear petitions seeking to make marital rape an offence, as the issue raised before the Supreme Court was different.

The court appointed senior advocate Raju Ramachandran as amicus curaie to assist it in the matter, considering its importance.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar listed the matter for further consideration on September 20, when it would hear it on a daily basis.
In pursuance to its earlier direction, advocate Gaurav Aggarwal, who appeared before the Supreme Court for petitioner NGO Independent Thought, apprised the court that the issues raised by petitioners in high court are different from those in the pleas before the apex court.
He said the issue in the apex court does not relate to the larger challenge, which is before the high court, on the constitutionality of an exception made in section 375 (rape) of IPC that does not consider sexual intercourse with a wife, not less than 15 years of age, as rape.
The apex court is hearing the issue relating to an exception in section 375 of IPC which says that intercourse or a sexual act by a man with his wife, aged between 15 and less than 18 years, is not rape.
After seeking clarification, the bench said, "there would be no impediment in hearing the case by this court."

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