Indian court fails to criminalise marital rape

An Indian court failed to reach a decision on the question of criminalising rape within marriage, leaving the laws unchanged. The matter can now go to the Supreme Court of the country.

A two-judge Bench of the Delhi High Court delivered a split verdict on pleas challenging the validity of the marital rape exemption given under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The petitions were filed by NGO RIT Foundation, All India Democratic Women’s Association and a marital rape victim.

Section 375 of the Indian Penal Court, says that sex “by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under eighteen years of age, is not rape,” according to a report in The Hindu.

The petitioners have now decided to move the case to the Supreme Court after one of the two judges upheld the exception in the law, while the other struck the exemption as unconstitutional.