Sex with wife below 18 years is rape says, Supreme Court

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In a major blow, the Supreme Court said sex with wife aged between 15 and 18 years would be subject to rape provision of criminal law.

If wife files a complaint within a year of the sexual act, then the husband is liable to be prosecuted under the provision of criminal law.

It was reported that the PIL demanded that such crime should be equally treated as rape.

The court said in its order, “If a man has sexual intercourse with a wife who is below 18 years, it is an offense. The minor wife can complain against the husband within one year”.

A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta said the exception was “arbitrary, discriminatory and capricious”.

Adding further to this, the court said, “Exception in rape law is discriminatory, capricious and arbitrary…It violates bodily integrity of the girl child”.

The Supreme Court said the exception is violative of Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.

The apex court in its order asked the centre and state to take steps to prohibit child marriage across the country.

(updating in process)

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