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Rahul Gandhi’s tweet comes amid hearings in the Delhi High Court. (File)New Delhi: As the Delhi High Court hears a clutch of petitions on the criminalisation of marital rape, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said “consent is amongst the most underrated concepts” in society and it has to be foregrounded to ensure safety for women.The remarks come amid the hearing in the high court of petitions filed by NGOs RIT Foundation and All India Democratic Women’s Association, a man and a woman seeking striking down of the exception granted to husbands under the Indian rape law.Petitions have also been filed by some men’s right organisations which are opposing the pleas seeking to quash the exception, saying there was no question of discrimination and Parliament has retained the provision considering the overall view of Indian society.”Consent is amongst the most underrated concepts in our society. It has to be foregrounded to ensure safety for women,” Gandhi tweeted, using the hashtag ‘MaritalRape’.Consent is amongst the most underrated concepts in our society.It has to be foregrounded to ensure safety for women. #MaritalRape— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 16, 2022The central government, in its earlier affidavit filed in the case, had said that marital rape cannot be made a criminal offence as it could become a phenomenon that may destabilise the institution of marriage and an easy tool for harassing the husbands.The Delhi government has told the court that marital rape was already covered as a “crime of cruelty” under the Indian Penal Code.A petitioner NGO has challenged the constitutionality of marital rape exception under section 375 IPC on the ground that it discriminated against married women who are sexually assaulted by their husbands.



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