On the widely-debated question of criminalising marital rape, the Delhi High Court today delivered a split verdict. The case will now go to the Supreme Court. Two judges, Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Hari Shankar, failed to agree on their verdict.
Justice Shankar said he believed an exception in the marital rape law does not violate the Constitution.
The judges had reserved a judgement on February 21 on the petitions seeking to strike down the exception granted to husbands under the rape law after marathon hearings.
On February 7, the Delhi High Court gave the centre two weeks to articulate its stand on criminalisation of marital rape.
The centre, however, sought more time, which was refused by the judges on the ground that it was not possible to defer a case endlessly.
The centre had said it has sent a communication to all states and Union Territories seeking their comments. The case could have an impact on social and family life with far-reaching consequences, the centre said, and a consultative process was necessary.
Under the exception granted by the law, any sexual act by a man with his wife is not rape if the woman is not a minor.