Sex with wife who is below 15 years is rape,says High Court

Consummation of marriage with a girl below the age of 15 amounts to rape,even though the husband is entitled to the girl’s custody,the Delhi High Court said.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 30, 2012 1:19:00 am

Consummation of marriage with a girl below the age of 15 amounts to rape,even though the husband is entitled to the girl’s custody,the Delhi High Court said.

The court observation came as it noted that girls,who are married before the age of 15,had the liberty to approach the court get the marriage declared void till the age of 20. “Consummation with wife below age of 15 years is an offence under Section 375 of IPC (rape). No exception can be made to the said Constitutional mandate,and the same has to be strictly and diligently enforced,” a three-judge bench,headed by Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri,said.

The court said allowing the husband to consummate marriage with a minor would not be appropriate,more so in the light of the fact that the Prevention of Child Marriage Act was introduced to ensure that a child is not married at an age when he or she is psychologically fit to take the decision.

“Such a marriage,after all,is voidable,and the girl child still has the right to approach the court seeking to exercise her option to get the marriage declared as void till she attains the age of 20 years,” said the bench,also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and V K Shali.

The court said an FIR for rape and kidnap registered against a person,who eloped with a girl below the age of 15,could not be quashed even if the girl said she entered into the marriage willingly. It said consent at such a young age was difficult to accept.

For cases where a girl is more than 16 years and tells the court that she went on her own will with a man,the court said it can accept the statement and the FIR can be quashed,if it was satisfied as to the girl’s maturity and understanding.

For all the latest Delhi News, download Indian Express App

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement