Parliament has to take a call in the issue, says SC on gender neutral rape laws

The Supreme Court on November 12 has refused to hear a petition which sought to strike down the rape law under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the ground that it is not gender neutral.

The top court states that it is not the appropriate forum to deal with the case and suggested that the Parliament can amend the law if required.

The Section 375 of the IPC only covers instances of rape of a woman by a man.

The petition is filed by the Criminal Justice Society of India.

While dismissing the petition, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said, “We are not inclined to interfere at this stage. Parliament has to take a call in the issue.”

CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul also asked, “Why should women also be not made liable for raping man, or a man for raping another man?”

The sexual assault law, which was amended in 2013, widened the definition of rape but did not make any single change that includes men or transgenders as victims under the law.