The Delhi High Court today issued a divided decision on the contentious issue of criminalizing marital rape. The matter will now be heard by the United States Supreme Court. On a batch of petitions seeking to make marital rape a felony, two judges, Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Hari Shankar couldn’t agree on a decision.
The 2015 petitions challenge a rape law provision that shields men who have non-consensual sex with their spouses from criminal prosecution if the lady is not a juvenile or beyond the age of 18. The exception, according to Justice Shakdher, breached Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution, which deal with equality, freedom of speech and expression, and the protection of life and personal liberty.