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Centre to clarify if eunuchs can come under ambit of rape

in INDIA, 12/10/2013

The Centre has informed the Bombay high court it will come to a decision on whether the definition of rape under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code can be made gender-neutral so as to include eunuchs. Currently, the definition is restricted to cases involving women.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha heard a public interest litigation by NGO Salvation of Oppressed Eunuchs drawing the court's attention to problems faced by eunuchs with regard to their acceptance in society. One of the prayers was to have eunuchs included within the definition of rape.

In an October 1 communication, the ministry of social justice and empowerment has sought more time from the court to file a proper reply to the petition.

"In the report of the Justice Verma Committee, the provision of Section 375 of the IPC has not been made gender-neutral," the communication stated. It added that the ministry is in consultation with the ministry of home affairs on this issue and thus sought time. "We need two weeks more to file a reply," said advocate Som Sinha, appearing for the ministry of social justice and empowerment.

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