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Supreme Court refuses to hear plea seeking gender-neutral rape laws

"We are not inclined to interfere at this stage. The Parliament has to take a call in the issue," Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 12, 2018 2:31:49 pm
The Supreme Court suggested that the Parliament can amend the law if required. The Supreme Court suggested that the Parliament can amend the law if required.

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a petition which sought to strike down Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code on the ground that it is not gender neutral. Stating it is not the appropriate forum to deal with the case, the top court suggested that Parliament can amend the law if required.

“We are not inclined to interfere at this stage. Parliament has to take a call in the issue,” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said while hearing the petition filed by the Criminal Justice Society of India.

In July this year, while hearing a plea against the gender-specific nature of the law on sexual assault, the Delhi High Court had wondered if there would be a right time ever to make rape and its punishment under the IPC “gender-neutral”. “Will there ever be a right time?” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar had asked after one of the amicus curiae appointed by it said it may not be the right time now in India to make such a change. Both the amicus curiae, however, said the world view on the issue was that it should be “gender neutral”.

The court had also sought the Centre’s reply on the same.

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