The Delhi High Court bench of the Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar today requested senior counsel, Raju Ramachandran, to assist the Court as Amicus Curiae in hearing the pending petitions challenging marital rape. The petitions have been filed by an NGO, RIT Foundation, and the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) with some interveners filing IAs.
Today, the bench heard Supreme Court advocate, Gaurav Agrawal, who is the counsel for Independent Thought, which filed the petition in the Supreme Court, challenging Exception 2 to Section 375 of Indian Penal Code, as unconstitutional. The bench wanted Agrawal to explain whether the two cases overlap with each other. The bench had deferred the hearing of the case last Monday, pending an explanation from Agrawal.
Agrawal explained that the petition in the Supreme Court is confined to challenging the legality of exception given to child marriages from the ambit of the offence of rape, as defined under Sixthly of Section 375. Therefore, he said there is no impediment for the Delhi High Court from considering the larger issue of marital rape, under challenge in the petitions before it.
The High Court recorded his statement and adjourned the case to September 20th.