The Centre while replying to the Delhi High Court on a petition filed which has challenged the constitutional validity of rape laws in India said that the rape law cannot be made gender-neutral. It said that it cannot be neutral for both man and woman as the predominant perpetrator of the offence is a man. Also, offences like sexual harassment globally are persecuted by a man on a woman and not vice versa, which is why the law should remain gender specific.
Predominant perpetrator is a man
According to Hindustan Times, the reply came from the ministry of home affairs that was filed before a bench of Chief Justice India (CJI) Rajendra Menon and justice V Kameswar Rao in response to a petition.
The petition was filed by Advocate Sanjiv Kkumaar in Delhi High Court that challenged the constitutional validity of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 375 and section 376 (rape). The petition states that the rape laws in India are gender biased and which is why it should be made neutral.
Under the IPC section 375 and 376, an FIR can be registered only against a man and not a woman, as reported by the Hindustan Times.
However, the Centre keeping this in mind, said in its reply affidavit that “…after due deliberations at various levels including various stakeholders and women groups, Section 375 was decided to be kept gender-specific qua the perpetrator of the offence and the perpetrator is said to be a man.”
It further said that predominantly, a man globally perpetrates offences like stalking, sexual harassment, voyeurism (gaining sexual pleasure from watching someone naked) and other such crimes on a woman. The reply says that these sections are put in place to prevent such crimes by man and also to keep a check on the rising level of sexual offence against women.
Talking about other sections, like section 498a of IPC which protects women from cruelty from her husband or any of the husband relatives are also gender-specific as to provide safety to the women in India.
The affidavit also mentioned that a similar petition was filed before the Supreme Court which was later dismissed. Asserting that even as a reason the affidavit says that this plea is liable to be dismissed as it is devoid of merit.
“In western country, women are also perpetrators”
As per the plea filed by an advocate Kkumaar stated that minor boys who are basically under the age of 18 are protected by Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012. However, as soon as they cross their age bar, their rights are robbed, and then there is no guarantee of their safety.
While talking to The Indian Express, the lawyer said, “If a married woman does not feel the need to return to his husband, then why should she be forced under the garb of restitution of conjugal rights. I want equality for all genders.” Citing an example of the western country laws he also says that, “In western countries, women are also perpetrators.”
The petition filed in the High Court comes on the heels of a Gurugram school case in which a seven-year-old was sexually abused and was murdered in the school and also at the time when Supreme Court has raised the age of consent in India, reports The Indian Express.
Source: The Logical Indian
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