Provisions of rape punishment law not gender neutral, reiterates Kerala HC judge


Kerala High Court | Photo: PTI

Kochi: Kerala High Court judge A Muhamed Mustaque on Thursday observed that Section 376, which pertains to the offence of rape, is not a gender neutral provision, while adjudicating a matrimonial dispute case.

The judge made the oral remark over the provision in the rape punishment law in response to the counsel’s argument in which a divorced couple sought custody of their child.

The argument was that the husband was once an accused in a rape case. However, the counsel for the husband argued that the person got bail and the case is over unproven accusations that he had sex on the pretext of false promise of marriage.

Justice Muhamed Mustaque pointed out that Section 376 is not gender-neutral. He further explained it with context. If a man cheats a woman on the pretext of false promise of marriage, he will be booked. But if a woman cheats a woman on the pretext of false promise of marriage, she won’t be booked.

Earlier this year, the same judge while adjudicating another case had hinted that provisions under the rape punishment law is not gender-neutral.


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