IPC says the intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife who is not below 15 years, is not a Rape.
Supreme Court expounded that, “Raging issue whether to make the forced marital intercourse and the sexual acts part of the offence of rape in Penal Law has been extensively debated and now it cannot be considered as the criminal act.
Section 375, Indian Penal Code (IPC), which defines offence of rape, has an exception clause that states that ,”Intercourse or Sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not a rape.
Court added that to know as to Whether Parliament debated aspect of protecting the married girls, between age group of 15-18 years, from forced sexual acts by their spouses. Whether the court could intervene to protect rights of such married girls who may be sexually exploited by their spouses.
Apex Court Bench comprising of Justice M B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta stated that,“Parliament has extensively debated issue of the marital rape and considered that it was not an offence of rape. Therefore, it cannot be considered as the Criminal offence”.
Supreme Court enunciated that,”Marriage of a girl, who is below age of 15 years, was illegal”.
Apex Court further added that,“There are cases when the college-going teens, below the 18 years of age, engage in the sexual activities consensually and get booked under law. Who is going to suffer? The boy is not at the fault. Punishment of seven years is too harsh”.
Supreme Court Bench was hearing a plea questioning Constitutionality of a provision permitting a man to have the physical relationship with his wife even if she is aged between 15 and 18.