A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Delhi High Court stating that Section 375 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code are biased towards men and do not include women as the perpetrators. A notice in this regard has been sent to the Centre by a bench of Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar.
The petitioner, Sanjiv Kumar, asserted that the existing provisions recognise only a man as the perpetrator and the woman as a victim of rape. “Gender is central to any understanding of how and why sexual violence occurs. What is clear, however, is that while females are the main victims of sexual violence and males the main perpetrators, one still has to consider how sexual assaults beyond the male-on-female paradigm are to be labelled by the criminal law,” reads the petition as reported by News18.
Kumar has also stated that the reason why men do not report instances of rape is the ‘very notion of patriarchy’ and how it prevents them from reporting such sexual abuse. Stating that though there are lesser instances of men being raped, they cannot be ignored.
The petitioner has also claimed that often men do not even report the instances of sexual abuse due to the patriarchy in the society. He added that if a male reports such an incident, he is not seen as a ‘Real Man’.
Quoting Article 14 for Right to Equality and Article 15 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, Kumar said that men be entitled to the same rights as women.
The matter will now be heard on October 23.