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Supreme Court: Sexual intercourse with minor wife to be considered rape
Posted on: 11-10-2017 , 12:47:PM | DY365 Bureau

 Picture Courtesy: Hindustan Times

October 11, 2017: In a landmark ruling made by the Supreme Court of India on Wednesday, it has criminalised sexual intercourse between a man and his underage wife, provided she files a complaint against her husband.

In India, rape and child marriage laws disagree on age of consent. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code says sex with a girl who is below 18 is rape but it has an exception, which says sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, who is 15 or above, is not rape even if it is without her consent.
The apex court struck down the exception clause to rape provision in the Indian Penal Code and stated that sexual intercourse with a minor wife in the age group of 15 to 18 would be a crime and amount to rape further stating that the age of consent is 18 and cannot be lowered.
The verdict is set o have a huge impact as it came amid the huge debate of criminalizing marital rape and at a time when the court is hearing petitions regarding the same.
A petition by NGO Independent Thought had challenged the exception clause (2) under Section 375 IPC contending that it is against the interest of the girl child and prayed that the clause be struck down as it is “violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution”.

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