Trigger for SC decision
New Delhi: A petition by a non-governmental organisation ‘Independent Thought’ had challenged the exception clause in Section 375 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with rape and states that sexual act by a man with his wife not below 15 years is not rape. This created a dichotomy as the age of consent has been laid down to be 18 years.
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The petitioners prayed in the Supreme Court (SC) that the clause be struck down as it was “violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India”. The plea contended that the exception clause went against the objectives of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act and was also in violation of international conventions to which India was a signatory.
The SC said on Wednesday that it was time that girl child trafficking was checked and asked the state governments to take suitable steps to prevent child marriages in the country.