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  India   All India  03 Feb 2018  Supreme Court denies plea to make rape ‘gender neutral’

Supreme Court denies plea to make rape ‘gender neutral’

Published : Feb 3, 2018, 3:53 am IST
Updated : Feb 3, 2018, 3:53 am IST

A three-judge Bench of CJI described it as ‘imaginative’.

Supreme Court of India (Photo: Asian Age)
 Supreme Court of India (Photo: Asian Age)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a PIL for making laws pertaining to rape, sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism, outraging the modesty etc gender-neutral offence to punish both man and woman.

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud dismissed at the admission stage the PIL filed by advocate Rishi Malhotra describing it as “imaginative and innovative.”

The CJI told the counsel “these are affirmative provisions (in the IPC) for the protection of women and in their favour. We cannot agree with your argument. This appears to us like an imaginative petition. Actually these are valid classification.”

Mr. Malhotra argued that crime has no gender and neither should our laws.  Women commit crime for the same reasons that men do. The law does not and should not distinguish between criminals and every person who has committed an offence is liable to punishment under the Cr.P.C.

Refusing to accept the submissions, Justice Chandrachud told Mr. Malhotra that even otherwise amending legislation was the job of the Prliament. It is up to the parliament. We cannot direct the Parliament to collect data regarding it. ”. “We are not saying a woman cannot rape a man but these come under different offence under IPC.’

The CJI observed, “Even if we feel the legislation should have been gender-neutral what we feel is legislature would have acted as per what was the urgency.”

The petitioner challenged the constitutional validity of IPC Sections 354, 353 A, B, C and D as well as Section 375 as they discriminate men against women in the commission of the offence which directly violates of Article 14 and Article 15 of the Constitution as “women too rape men”.

He quoted a survey which said that 16 per cent of men had stated that they been coerced into having sex. Despite rape of men not researched as widely as rape of female.

Tags: indian supreme court, sexual harassment, gender neutral, rape