Rape should be considered as gender neutral, observes Kerala HC

Kochi, June 2 (IANS) A bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday orally remarked that the offence of rape should be made gender neutral while considering a matrimonial dispute moved by a divorced couple over custody of their child.

This observation was made by Justice Muhamed Mustaque.

“Section 376 is not a gender-neutral provision. If a woman tricks a man under false promise of marriage, she can’t be prosecuted. But a man can be prosecuted for the same offence. What kind of law is this? It should be gender-neutral,” said Mustaque.

The judge made the remark during the course of the hearing when the party brought up the fact that the husband in the case had once been accused in a rape case.

The husband’s counsel argued that he was currently released on bail and that the said allegation was based on unsubstantiated accusations of sex under a false promise of marriage.