Supreme Court In Landmark Decision Holds Sex With Minor Wives As Rape

3:45 pm 12 Oct, 2017

Over-turning a 77 year old law, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court today ruled that sex between a man and his minor wife be considered as rape, if it has been indulged in against the wishes of the minor wife.

Representational Image Zee News

Considering the law against marital rape in Section 375 of the Indian Constitution – which gives voice to marital rape only as long as the wife is under 15 years of age as discriminatory and capricious, Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta in the landmark order pronounced:

If a man has sexual intercourse with a wife who is below 18 years, it is an offence. The minor wife can complain against the husband within one year.

Nailing the loophole in Section 375, the judges further said:


The exception in rape law under the IPC is contrary to other statutes, violates body integrity of girl child.

Where most have welcomed the apex courts decision, some Muslim clerics have opposed it on the grounds that it was an infringement of Muslim Personal Laws.

Child marriages are common among Muslims in India. The recent child marriage racket busted in Hyderabad exposed the sexual exploitation of child brides taking place in the community by being offered to visiting Arabs. Under the garb of temporary marriages, clerics and others have been arrested under charges of indulging in human trafficking and sex trade.

Needless to say, this Supreme Court decision will go a long way in curbing child marriages that take place not only in smaller towns and villages but also in modern IT hubs, like Hyderabad (as the recent case show).

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