Sex with wife aged between 15 and 18 years would be a punishable offence: Supreme Court

PTIUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:59 AM IST
article-image

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today criminalised sex with minor wife aged between 15 and 18 years, saying the exception in the rape law was arbitrary and was violative of the Constitution.

Section 375 of the IPC, which defines the offence of rape, has an exception clause that says intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not rape. However, the age of consent is 18 years. The apex court said the exception in the rape law was contrary to the philosophy of other statutes and violates the bodily integrity of a girl child.

A bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also expressed concern over the prevalent practise of child marriage in the country and said social justice laws were not implemented with the spirit with which they have been enacted by Parliament. The bench clarified that it has not dealt with the issue of marital rape as it was not raised before it by respective parties.

Justice Gupta, who wrote a separate but concurrent verdict, said the age of marriage was 18 in all laws and the exception given in the rape law under the IPC is “capricious, arbitrary and violates the rights of a girl child”.

The apex court said the exception is violative of Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution. It asked the Centre and the states to take proactive steps to prohibit child marriage across the country.

It voiced concern over thousands of minor girls being married in mass wedding ceremonies on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.

(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )

(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here.  To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Bhagat Singh death anniversary: 7 movies based on the life of Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh death anniversary: 7 movies based on the life of Bhagat Singh

10 shayari by Mirza Ghalib that beautifully captures the pain of love, life and heartbreak

10 shayari by Mirza Ghalib that beautifully captures the pain of love, life and heartbreak

Teachers' Day 2021: Wishes, greetings in Hindi, Marathi to share on SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook and...

Teachers' Day 2021: Wishes, greetings in Hindi, Marathi to share on SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook and...

Meet Akhil Poddar young head of Rajasthan-based Poddar Group of Industries who inspires people to...

Meet Akhil Poddar young head of Rajasthan-based Poddar Group of Industries who inspires people to...

Nirjala Ekadashi: Things to keep in mind about the rituals and celebration

Nirjala Ekadashi: Things to keep in mind about the rituals and celebration