SC refuses to stay Karnataka HC order allowing trial against man for raping wife
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to stay the Karnataka High Court judgment which had refused to quash the case of marital rape filed against a husband on a complaint by his wife.
A bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice JK Maheshwari and Hima Kohli did not order a stay on the proceedings of the trial and issued notice on the appeal filed by the husband against the High Court order.
Senior advocate Siddharth Dave, appearing for the husband, told the bench that the trial in the case is starting from May 29. Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the wife, opposed the appeal and submitted that the trial had been stayed for over five years and that the wife had been waiting indefinitely for the trial to commence.
The bench posted the matter for hearing in the third week of July.
The husband has challenged the order passed on March 23 this year by the High Court which had declined to quash the charge of rape framed under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against him accused of raping his wife and keeping her as a sex slave.
The High Court did not accept the husband's argument that the charge cannot be framed against him due to the exception to marital rape from the offence of rape as per exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code and observed that the exemption cannot be absolute.
"The brutal act of sexual assault on the wife, against her consent, albeit by the husband, cannot but be termed to be a rape. Such sexual assault by a husband on his wife will have grave consequences on the mental sheet of the wife, it has both psychological and physiological impact on her. Such acts of husbands scar the soul of the wives," the High Court had held.
While terming the exception for husbands under Section 375 IPC as regressive, the High Court had said that under the Code, every other man indulging in offences against women is punished for those offences. "A man is a man; an act is an act; rape is a rape, be it performed by a man the "husband" on the woman "wife"," it had said.
The wife filed the complaint against the husband on March 21, 2017, with the police. After the investigation, the Police filed a charge sheet against the husband under rape and other charges.
The Special Court framed charges against him alone in August 2018 for offences punishable under Sections 376, 498A and 506 of IPC and Section 5(m) and (l) read with Section 6 of the POCSO Act.