Centre seeks more time from Delhi HC to reply to pleas seeking criminalisation of marital rape

The Centre on Monday sought more time from the Delhi High Court to file a fresh reply to the petitions seeking criminalisation of marital rape. It also told the court that it wants to place on record its clear stand on the matter but will need “reasonable time” to do so.

The government had last responded to the petitions on the matter in 2017.

“In a matter where nothing imminent is happening, to place half-hearted stand may not be appropriate,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before the court.

Seeking a “couple of weeks” from the court, Mehta submitted that a considerate response needs to be submitted. “Let there be a consultative, considered view,” said Mehta, adding that  “reasonable time” is required.

However, the court said that it will continue hearing other lawyers in the case and later see how much time can be given to the Centre.

While hearing a bunch of petitions earlier, the Delhi High Court had observed that the nature of a relationship cannot put it on a different pedestal when it comes to dealing with cases of marital rape. The petitions challenged the legal exception that protects men who have forced, non-consensual intercourse with their wives.

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