Chandigarh, August 27, 2021: In a matter pertaining to the quashing of an FIR registered against the husband under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for the alleged offence of rape, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has set September 27 as the next date of hearing and has ordered that the counsel for the parties would be required to address arguments as per the law settled so far on the issue.
The petitioner husband had moved the plea in question under section 482 of the Cr.P.C. praying for quashing of the FIR registered under sections 376 and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and all the subsequent proceedings therefrom being illegal and gross misuse of the process of law.
The complainant wife had filed the FIR against her husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
In the petition, the main claim of the petitioner has been that since both the complainant and the petitioner solemnised marriage and they were residing together as husband and wife, so no offence u/s 376 (rape) could be made out against the petitioner. It was claimed in the petition that false allegations of rape were made in the FIR.
It has also been submitted from the husband’s side that the respondent could have initiated the prosecution under the Domestic Violence Act or u/s 498-A, 323 of IPC. By no stretch of imagination section 376 could be attracted in the present case, contended the petitioner.
Now, when this matter was taken up for hearing, the petitioner’s counsel, Arnav Sood, brought exception 2 to Section 375 of the IPC to the court’s attention which defines rape, with an exception. The exception states that sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.
It was also argued that the other offence alleged to have been committed being one punishable under Section 120-B of the IPC, with no other substantive offence alleged to have been committed when the first offence itself cannot statutorily stand (as contended), the question of any offence punishable under Section 120-B of the IPC also cannot stand.
The Bench of Justice Amol Rattan Singh directed that a copy of the petition be supplied to Ramdeep Partap Singh, DAG, Punjab, by the counsel for the petitioners and the complainant be served by normal process, returnable on September 27, 2021.
The Court, thus ordered, “In the meanwhile, till the next date of hearing only and specifically, the trial court is directed to adjourn the matter to a date beyond that given by this court, till the next date of hearing. Naturally, despite the aforesaid statutory provision pointed out by learned counsel for the petitioners, counsel for the parties would be required to address arguments as per the law settled so far on the issue.”