Centre seeks to defer hearing on pleas for criminalising marital rape
The Centre has sought to defer hearing in a batch of pleas seeking to criminalise marital rape for a ‘stipulated’ time, stating that it needed time to conduct an effective consultative process before reaching any conclusion.
“The issue in the petition may not be treated only as a constitutional validity of a statutory provision, and will have far-reaching socio-legal implications in the country," the Centre said in an additional affidavit.
No state government or any other stakeholder is before this court, the affidavit added.
The Modi Government has said that it can give meaningful and effective assistance to the court only after a consultative process with the participation of all stakeholders.
“Absence of any such consultative process by the executive and legislature, may result in some injustice to one section or other. Both the executive and the legislature are equally concerned and committed to the protection of the fundamental rights of its citizens,” the Centre said.
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"However, it is the considered opinion of the Central Government that this court can be assisted only after a consultative process is undertaken by the central government with all stakeholders including all the State Governments," the Centre added.
" The provisions whose validity is challenged is in existence since inception. It was only because one of the petitioners suddenly mentioned the matter for final hearing during the present pandemic that the hearing has commenced. The Centre is left with no time to deliberate upon the issues and implications involved with all stakeholders as such an exercise, by its very nature, takes a reasonable time, " the Centre said.
Considering the social impact, intimate family relations and the court not having the privilege of being fully aware of ground realities, taking a decision merely based upon the arguments of a few lawyers may not serve the ends of justice, the Centre said.