The Centre has informed to Delhi High Court that rape laws cannot be made gender-neutral because of the perpetrator of the offence who is a man and that even globally offences like sexual harassment are predominantly perpetrated by a man on a woman.
The reply by the ministry of home affairs was filed before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and justice V Kameswar Rao while responding to a petition, which challenged the constitional validity of section 375&376(rape) of the Indian Penal Code(IPC)seeking to make these sections gender-neutral.it is pertinent to mention that rape laws are gender-specific and an FIR under these sections can be registered only against a man and not a woman.
The affidavit states"...that after due deliberations at various levels inclinding, various stakeholders and woman groups,Section 375 was decided to be kept gender specific qua the perpetrator of the offence and the perpetrator is said to be a man."Further, globally offences like sexual harassment alon with other offences like voyeurism or stalking are predominantly perpetrated by a man on a woman These sections have been enacted to protect and keep a check on the rising levels of sexual offences against women in Indian." The Centre also said that other sections like 498,which provides for prosecution of a husband or a relative of a husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty, are also gender-specific to ensure the safety of the woman.
According to the plea filed by advocate Sanjjiv kumar, boys below the age of 18are safe guarde under the protection of Children from Sexual Offences(pocso)Act. However, there is no guarantee of thair safety once they croos the age, following which they "are robbed of their rights"
Advocate Kkumaar filedthe plea in the wake of an incident at a private school in Gurugram where a minor boy was found dead with his throat slit in the washroom. Investigations later revealed that a sodomy attempt was made on the boy. In its affidav it, the Centre asserted that a similar petition was filed befor the Supreme Court which Dismissed it, and hence it is liable to be dismissed se it is devoid of marit.
The public interest litigation (pil)had invoked the privacy judgment, stating that the Supreme Court had ruled that "consent"is intrinsic to the Right of Privacy and Bodily Integrity, Human Dignity and personhood.