‘Isn’t child marriage illegal?’ Twitterati wonder as SC rules sex with ‘minor wife’ is rape

The Supreme Court ruled that sex with wife aged between 15 and 18 years would be a punishable offence under the Indian Penal Code. While some have applauded the decree on Twitter, others were puzzled and asked if child marriage is illegal or not.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Published:October 11, 2017 7:31 pm
supreme court, minor rape, sex with wife below 18 age is rape, minor wife, supreme court minor rape, minor sex, child marriage, indian express, indian express news Sex with wife aged between 15 and 18 years would be a punishable offence. (Source: File Photo)

In yet another commendable judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that sex with wife aged between 15 and 18 years would be a punishable offence under the Indian Penal Code. The husband is liable to be prosecuted if the woman files a complaint within a year of the sexual act, the Supreme Court said. Earlier, the laws of sex and rape were in contradiction with each other on the age of consent. The petition by NGO Independent Thought had challenged the exception clause (2) in Section 375 IPC (which deals with rape) that says says sex with a girl less than 18 is rape but it makes an exception allowing sex with wife who is 15 or above, saying it is not rape even if it is without her consent.

At a time when the apex court is already hearing petitions for marital rape to be declared crime and people are debating over the age of consent, the order came as a breakthrough. However, the wording has left many confused on social media. While some have applauded the decree on Twitter, others were puzzled as how could one have a wife below the age of 15 and asked if child marriage is illegal or not.

Take a look at some tweets below.

In the meantime, the Supreme Court also expressed concern over the practice of child marriage, saying social justice laws are not implemented with the spirit they had been enacted in. The Supreme Court asked the Centre and state governments to take proactive steps to prohibit child marriages across the country. It voiced concern over thousands of minor girls being married in mass wedding ceremonies on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.

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