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Copulating with wife below 18 years amounts to rape: Supreme Court
Thursday, October 12, 2017 • Tamil Comments

In a landmark verdict which might arrest the unfortunate incidents of child marriage, the Supreme Court of India has ruled that copulation with girls below 18 years of age (even if they happen to be wives) would amount to rape.

Article 375 of the Constitution of India says that it won’t amount to rape even if the husband copulates with his wife who is above 15 years of age.  The same provision has stipulated 18 years of age as the right age for girls/women to get married as those below 18 years of age are still considered only as ‘girls’.

A public interest litigation (PIL) petition was filed with the Supreme Court of India seeking amendment of the provisions under Article 375 of the Constitution.  A Bench comprising Justice Madhan P. Lokur and Justice Navan Gupta took up the petition.  The Central Govt. counsel argued that there was nothing wrong with the provisions of the Article in question.

After hearing the arguments, the Bench had earlier reserved its verdict in the case which was delivered yesterday.  In its landmark ruling, the apex Court has said that men having sex with their wives below 18 years of age would be construed only as ‘rape’ and action would be taken them as per existing provisions in the law.