Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta on Monday informed the Supreme Court that the Central Government has asked States for their views on the plea seeking criminalisation of marital rape..Mehta stated that apart from legal ramifications, the matter will have social ramifications as well and hence sought permission to file a counter.Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for a woman whose husband was charged with raping her, pointed out that during her case in Karnataka High Court, the Central government chose not to file a reply.Mehta said that in Delhi High Court, the Central government had addressed the social ramifications and also that a couple of months ago, it had asked States for their inputs."In Delhi High Court we had said it would have social ramifications. We had asked states a couple of months ago about their inputs also," the SG said.A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud granted the Centre time till February 15 to file its reply and listed the matter for final hearing on March 21..The Supreme Court had in September sought the Central government's response in an appeal against the split verdict of the Delhi High Court in the marital rape case, dealing with the validity of Exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).While Justice Rajiv Shakdher of the High Court had struck down the provision as unconstitutional, Justice C Hari Shankar had 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.Notably, the top court later in September had observed that for the purposes of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, marital rape has to be considered as falling within the meaning of 'rape' in order to save women from forceful pregnancy. In July, the Supreme Court had stayed a March 23 judgment of the Karnataka High Court that had declined to quash the charge of rape framed under Section 376 of the IPC against a man accused of raping and keeping his wife as a sex slave.