Sex with underage wife is rape, says Supreme Court

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So far, a husband could have sexual intercourse with his wife, if she is above the age of 15 years, irrespective of her consent. He 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". Two, the legal age of consent for sex is 18 years for girls, while no such age has been specified for boys.

Since the law on child marriage, the Child Marriage Prohibition Act 2006 remains the way it is, it also means that any under-age marriage that has taken place remains valid and voidable.

Dr. Vanita Raut, Gynaecologist said, "The girl is not mentally ready and there is a possibility of her getting infected with sexually transmitted diseases if sex is forced on her. However we refrain from commenting on adult marital rape as the issue is not before us", Live Law reported. "When a minor girl gets pregnant she hesitates to disclose about it to the family members". Can this helpless, underprivileged girl be deprived of her rights to say "yes" or "no" to marriage?

With the judgements it has been passing lately, it looks like our apex court is on a roll. "A married man can not have forceful physical relationship with the minor".


The judges on Wednesday restricted their decision to marriages involving a minor only, declining to comment on whether the entire marital rape exception should be scrapped. "When the age was being raised in all other laws, the age under Exception 2 should also have been raised to bring it in line with the evolving laws especially the laws to protect women and the girl child aged below 18 years", he said.

Under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, if a minor girl under the age of 15 years is married under Muslim law, she can obtain a decree of dissolution of marriage before she attains the age of 18 years provided that the marriage has not been consummated. In those days, people used to get married at a young age and they used to have children early. It's simply rape of a minor.

But the court stopped short of revoking an exception in the country's criminal law that permits rape in marriage, now the subject of separate legal proceedings. Isn't the court being unfair and performing a disservice to several Indian women who could be facing harassment by their husbands but can do nothing about it because they are above a certain age? So it can lead to forced sex and they will have to undergo vast pressure.

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