Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
Indian court rules sex with under-18 wife rape

By Saba Aziz on 11/10/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 1,668

•Indian child marriage ceremony
•Indian child marriage ceremony

The Indian Supreme Court has ruled that sexual intercourse with a wife between the age of 15 and 18 years is a crime.

In a landmark ruling on Wednesday, India’s top court amended the country’s rape law and declared that sex with an underage wife illegal under India’s Penal Code (IPC).

The wife must file a complaint against her husband within a year of the committed offence.

“The exception in rape law under the IPC is contrary to other statutes, violates bodily integrity of girl child,” the court in the capital, New Dehli, said.

The verdict will come into effect for future instances and have no bearing on marriages already solemnised, the court said.

The legal age for marriage in India is 18, but child marriages, are not uncommon, especially in the rural parts of the country.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) considers sex with a person under the age of 18 as rape.

However, the law had an exception clause that said a man was not guilty of rape if he had consensual sex with a wife who was above the age of 15.

After hearing a petition by NGO Independent Thought, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the age of consent was 18.

Women’s rights activists in the country hailed the ruling as a “positive step in the right direction” and a possible “deterrent for child marriages”.

“We strongly feel that this decision of the Supreme Court will work in impacting child marriages, also,” J agmati Sangwan, women’s activist and member of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), told Al Jazeera.

Flavia Agnes, women’s rights lawyer and founder of the NGO Majlis, called the verdict a “big milestone”, but questioned its practicality.

“It has to be implemented only if the wife files a complaint,” she said. “The state on its own cannot implement it without a victim being there.”

Curbing child marriage?

The Supreme Court on Wednesday urged the government to take proactive measures to curb child marriage across the country.

India has the highest number of child brides in the world at more than 26 million, according to the UN’s children agency, UNICEF.

Between 2008 and 2014, an estimated 47 percent of girls in India were married before their 18th birthday and 18 percent by the age of 15.

Sangwan believes the order will encourage child brides to “speak up, resist and rebel”.

Agnes, however, said the ruling empowers women “in a limited manner” and more measures need to be taken to put an end to child marriage in the country.

“The steps are not only from the legal side,” she explained on the phone. “It has to be socioeconomic, literacy rate has to go up, empowerment must happen, economic standards must rise and education should be available for girls beyond the primary level. Only then can child marriage be prevented.”

Marital rape

The order also comes at a time when there is increasing pressure from petitioners to criminalise marital rape.

Before Wednesday, there was no crime in the country’s law about rape taking place under wedlock.

Activists say that Wednesday’s judgement sets a positive precedent for future rulings regarding marital rape.

“That’s a different campaign (marital rape), which has already been launched and this judgement will surely help,” said Agnes.

Sangwan said the verdict will encourage the issue of marital rape to be seen in a “more humanitarian and democratic perspective”.

“This ruling will create a positive environment for the debate and discussion around marital rape,” she said.

In another partial victory for Indian women in August, the country’s Supreme Court suspended the “triple talaq” or instant divorce, practised by some in the Muslim community.


Source News Express

Posted 11/10/2017 9:38:34 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Greece wildfires: At least 50 killed near Athens...

DSS director dies after brief illness

Crime: Prepare for the worst, HURIWA advises Nigerians...

Policeman who shot Bamidele dismissed

Trapped gold miners resurface after missing 5 days...

Ikpeazu vs Otti: In defence of the Appeal...

War on Corruption: Victory is certain: EFCC Chairman...

Rivers set to host Brotherhood anniversary celebration

Fuel scarcity to end soon, says NUPENG

Nigeria to issue $29mn debut green bond next...

Senate and its basket of empty probes, By...

How to reduce cancer risk — Health Minister,...

 

Latest News Imo Gov Race: Okorocha raises alarm over alleged fake court order Nigeria collapsing under Buhari — CLO Court of Appeal reduces jail terms of ex-governors Dariye, Nyame Army builds detention centre for Boko Haram fighters Buhari: I am on track to achieving my plans for Nigeria Nigeria, Uganda friendly tickets now on sale •Stephen Keshi International Stadium Asaba is venue Let’s not plunge Rivers into violence — Abe ‘Stop advertising your ignorance’ — Atiku/Obi Advocacy Group chides Buhari Media Organisation Delta APC factional chairs disagree over reconciliation committee Court orders EFCC to re-arraign Jonathan’s ex-aide Don’t repackage the gospel — Anglican Bishop charges clerics Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan ranked as world’s most dangerous countries

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (420,886 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (389,897 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (322,774 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (271,467 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (244,030 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (227,438 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (208,968 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (190,432 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (175,792 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (168,531 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (165,001 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (151,920 views)

 

Zenith Zero Balance First Bank banner

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (73) Business & Economy (3,794) Business Verdict (54) Columnists (963) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (208) Entertainment (566) Features (669) Global Business Monitor (309) International (2,684) Interview (166) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (146) Maggie's Blog (35) News (40,587) Opinion (1,140) Pidgin (13) Politics (7,743) Religion (900) Sports (1,774) Stock Watch (35) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera