Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Plea To Make Rape Gender-Neutral Offence

The top court said the Parliament is the appropriate authority to take a call on the issue.

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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Plea To Make Rape Gender-Neutral Offence

The petitioner said as many as 63 countries have made rape laws gender-neutral


New Delhi: 

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a petition that sought to make rape laws gender-neutral in the country.

The top court said it was "not inclined to entertain the petition at this stage" and held that the Parliament is the "appropriate authority to take a call on the issue."

A Public Interest Litigation Petition filed by Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Criminal Justice Society of India said there are as many as 63 countries in the world where the rape laws have been made gender-neutral and sought a similar change to the Indian law.

The Law Commission of India, nearly two-decades ago had proposed that rape laws in the country be made gender neutral and had called for substituting the definition of "rape" with that of "sexual assault."

But the recommendation hasn't yet paved the way for the existing laws dealing with rape being changed.

The section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)--covers only instances of rape of a woman by a man. It doesn't consider sexual assault inflicted on a woman by a woman, on a man by a man or on man by a woman as rape.

The petitioner argued that the section 375 of the Indian Penal Code be held 'ultra vires' for being 'discriminatory' and in violation of the constitutional provisions that guarantee right to equality, protection against discrimination and right to life and personal liberty.

The petition had also cited the lack of acknowledgment "transgender victims of rape" under the existing rape laws.

 

 

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