In the light of the Union government’s current stance that it is taking a ‘constructive approach’ in the matter, the Delhi high court on Friday asked the Union government to clarify whether it plans to withdraw its previous position of criminalising marital rape.
In 2017, the Centre filed an affidavit opposing a slew of petitions seeking to criminalise marital rape, arguing that making it a crime would create a phenomenon that would destabilise marriage and make it an accessible weapon for harassing spouses.
The Union government, on the other hand, informed the court earlier this month that it was taking a ‘constructive approach’ to the issue when the bench of justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar started hearing the case.
The court ordered additional solicitor general (ASG) Chetan Sharma to take instructions on this subject on Friday and set a new hearing date for January 31.
The court’s order came after Counsel Karuna Nundy, who represents petitioner NGOs RIT Foundation and All India Democratic Women’s Association, asked if she should argue on the federal government’s written submissions and affidavits made thus far, or if the government was withdrawing them.