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Sex with minor wife not rape : SC prosecutes NCW on rape law exception

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source: kolkata24x7.com

By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court prosecuted the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Friday in the hearing of a petition challenging the constitutional validity of a rape law exception that says sexual intercourse with a wife not less than 15 years of age is not rape.

The public interest litigation (PIL) challenged the exception in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code which says: “Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape.”

Section 375 spells out six circumstances under which a man can be accused of committing a rape that includes sex without the consent of the woman or by putting her under some kind of pressure or fear.

However, it carves out an exception in case of a minor wife not less than 15 years.

While impleading the NCW as a party to the petition, the apex court social justice bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit told petitioner NGO Independent Thought: “You may be right that the IPC will not override the statute.”

Moved by the NGO’s founding member Vikram Srivastava, the PIL contended that the exception was in conflict with the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Counsel for the PIL petitioner said the exception was also contrary to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.

five-year-girl

The PIL contended that the exception was a violation of Article 14 (equality before law), Article 15 (Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) and Article 21 (Protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution to the extent that it permits intrusive sexual intercourse with a girl aged between 15 and 18 years on the ground that she has been married.

The petitioner NGO pointed to discrepancies in the law, referring to the provision of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which says: “No court shall take cognizance of an offence under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, where such offences consist of sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife being under 18 years of age, if more than one year has elapsed from the date of the commencement of the offence.”

This made Justice Lalit wonder about the “cognizance” for what you can’t punish.

“You can’t take cognizance of something that can’t be punished,” he said.

Admitting to the dichotomy in the statutory provisions and the exception, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that there were 23 million child brides in India, and the parliament had this ground reality in view while making the exception.

(With inputs from IANS)

Next Story

Taylor Swift Dedicates Her Newest Music Video to the LGBTQ Equality

Perry's appearance signaled an end to a spat between the two musicians

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Taylor Swift, Song, Petition
FILE - Taylor Swift performs at the iHeartRadio Wango Tango concert in Carson, California, June 1, 2019. LOS ANGELES - Pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift on Monday released a star-stud. VOA

Pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift on Monday released a star-studded music video that scolded social media trolls and urged fans to sign a petition demanding U.S. legal protections for gays, lesbians and transgender people.

The video for Swift’s new single “You Need to Calm Down” featured a surprise cameo by former rival Katy Perry plus a host of other celebrities. Perry’s appearance signaled an end to a spat between the two musicians which began in 2013 over backup singers in their shows.

Set in a pastel-colored trailer park, the video featured Swift, 29, relaxing in a pool while she called out her critics and those who attack LGBTQ people. “Shade never made anybody less gay,” she sang.

Celebrities in the video who identify as LGBTQ include Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Porter, RuPaul, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Adam Lambert, Hannah Hart and Tan France.

Taylor Swift, Song, Petition
Pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift on Monday released a star-studded music video that scolded social media trolls and urged fans to sign a petition. Flickr

Swift, all smiles and outfitted as French fries, hugged Perry, 34, dressed as a hamburger, a costume she wore to last month’s Met Gala fundraiser at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Social media posts in 2018 suggested an end to their spat, which had played out in their songs. On Tuesday, Perry posted a photo on her Instagram account, with Swift being tagged, showing a plate of cookies with the words “Peace at last” appearing to be written in icing.

At the end of the new video, two sentences on screen urged fans to sign a petition urging the U.S Senate to pass legislation that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.

The measure has already cleared the U.S. House of Representatives.

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“Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally,” it said.

The petition had collected more than 222,000 signatures within a few hours.

Swift, who has more than 118 million Instagram followers, has been stepped into politics in 2018 by supporting two Democrats running in U.S. congressional elections in Tennessee.

Voter registrations spiked in the state, but Swift’s preferred candidate for Senate lost the election. (VOA)