Published On : Wed, Oct 11th, 2017

Sex with wife between 15-18 years is rape: SC

New Delhi: In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court today said that sexual intercourse with wife below 18 years (or between 15 and 18 years) will be considered rape and will be a punishable offence under the Indian Penal Code. The court said that exception in rape law is discriminatory, capricious and arbitrary and expressed concern over the practice of child marriage. It said social justice laws are not implemented with the spirit they have been enacted. The exception in rape law under the IPC is contrary to other statutes, violates bodily integrity of girl child, the SC said.

Section 375 of the IPC, which defines the offence of rape, has an exception clause that says intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not rape. However, the age of consent is 18 years.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur had on September 6 reserved its order on the plea while questioning the Centre how Parliament could create an exception in law declaring that intercourse or a sexual act by a man with his wife, aged between 15 and less than 18 years, is not rape when the age of consent is 18.