The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to grant further time to the Centre to make its stand clear on the matter of criminalizing marital rape and reserved judgment on various pleas in the matter.
The Centre submitted that it has sent a communication to all states and Union territories of India asking for their observations on the issue and urged the court that the proceedings be adjourned till such time the inputs are received.
A bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar said it was not possible to adjourn an ongoing matter as there is no terminal date by when the Centre’s consultations will be over on the issue.
We are closing it then, the bench said, adding, judgment reserved. List for directions on March 2, 2022. In the time being, counsel for parties may file their written submissions and compilations.
The court was dealing with a set of petitions seeking to strike down the exception granted to husbands under the Indian rape law.
On February 7, the high court had granted two weeks time to the Centre to state its stand on the petitions seeking criminalization of marital rape.
The Centre had filed an affidavit urging the court to defer the hearing on the petitions, stating that criminalizing marital rape has very far-reaching socio-legal inferences in the country and a meaningful consultative process with various stakeholders including the state governments is needed.