Supreme Court of India steps in and rescues POCSO from IPC

Supreme Court of India steps in and rescues POCSO from IPC

In a country where child marriages are a reality with an estimated 2.3 crore minor brides, marital rape is still not considered a crime. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) protects a man having intercourse with his minor wife aged above 15 years.

 

  • An NGO, Independent Thought, wants that a husband who has intercourse with his wife aged below 15 be tried under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
    • Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, who heard the arguments, have now said that such cases of a minor wife can be dealt under POCSO.

 

  • The Delhi Court is also hearing a demand that marital rape be made an offence.

 

  • 18 is the legally sanctioned age for a girl’s marriage and while the marriages between 15 and 18 years of age have dropped considerably, they still stand at a significant number in India.

 

  • The NGO Independent Thought’s PIL challenged the validity of Section 375 (Rape) of IPC and Advocate Gaurav Agrawal argued for the petitioner saying POCSO was a special act and that it would override IPC which provides an exception for child marriage cases.

 

  • The Centre, though, is justifying this exception claiming marriage is sacrosanct and needs protection, particularly because child marriage is practiced and is a living reality in our country.
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