Question of Delhi HC – Right to say no to sex worker, does not a married woman?

New Delhi. The petitions seeking criminalization of marital rape were heard in the Delhi High Court. On Tuesday, the court has asked how a married woman can be denied the right to refuse intercourse. Whereas, others have the right to file a case of rape if they have a relationship without consent. Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Hari Shankar were hearing the petitions.

Justice Shakdher said that even sex workers have the right to say no to their clients. He said that when it comes to husband, how can a woman, who is also a wife, be kept away from this right. He said, ‘You gave the example of a sex worker. She can never say no. Can a wife be kept below this?’ Amicus Curiae and senior advocate Rajasekhar Rao said that if someone is coerced, sex workers also have the right to level allegations against the person.

Advocate Karuna Nandi, appearing for one of the petitioners, said that there are expectations of sexual intercourse in the case of marriage, thus the same is the case with the sex worker. However, Justice Hari Shankar said that the two things cannot be called the same. He further said, ‘There is no doubt that the woman has suffered. But we have to keep in mind the consequences of the person who is liable to 10 years imprisonment… I repeat again that the section 375 provision does not say that rape should not be punished. The question is whether it should be punished like rape.

# On Marital Rape, Delhi High Court said – Punishment must be given, women have the right to say no but…

He said, ‘If we are saying yes, then we should keep in mind that we are saying yes by doing away with a legislative provision. And what we are saying is that everything contained in 375 should apply, even if the parties are married among themselves. To this, Rao argued that rape takes place and a rapist remains a rapist. So nothing can change the truth.

Quoting several judgments of the apex court, Rao said the court has consistently held that rape violates the rights of a woman and is a crime against the society. The court has decided to continue the hearing on this matter on Friday. It is believed that during that time Rao can finish his arguments.

Earlier, the Central Government had informed the court that it is in the process of taking positive steps in this matter. The bench had said that they would continue the hearing of the matter till next week. If the government decides to do away with the exception, it will save the judge the hassle of writing the verdict.

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