The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Central government's response in an appeal against the split verdict of the Delhi High Court in the martial rape case on the validity of Exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) [Khushboo Saifi v Union of India]..A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and BV Nagarathna issued notice in the plea challenging Exception 2 to Section 375 which effectively provides that charges of rape cannot be attracted against a man who has non-consensual sex with his wife..The validity of the same had earlier been challenged before the High Court, and a Division Bench comprising Justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar had delivered split verdict in the case on May 11..While Justice Shakdher struck down the provision as unconstitutional, Justice Shankar upheld the same."The impugned provisions in so far as they concern a husband having intercourse with his wife without consent are violative of article 14 and are, therefore, struck down," Justice Shakdher had held.."I do not agree. There is no support to show that impugned exception violates Articles 14, 19 or 21. There is an intelligible differentia. I am of the view that the challenge cannot sustain," Justice Shankar had ruled..The appellant Saifi has supported the verdict of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and challenged the opinion of Justice Hari Shankar.