Sex with minor wife who is below the age of 18 is to be considered rape: Supreme Court

 Mumbai
Sex with minor wife who is below the age of 18 is to be considered rape: Supreme Court

On Wednesday, October 11, the Supreme Court passed a landmark judgement where sex with a wife below the age of 18 will be considered as rape and will be punishable by law. This decision puts an end to the decision which favoured the law for men married to girls who are above 15. 


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," said the court, declaring that lowering the legal age for sex to 15 if the girl is married is unconstitutional. Exception in rape law is discriminatory, capricious and arbitrary, it violates bodily integrity of the girl child," Supreme Court.


Key points


  • Sex with a wife below 18 is rape
  • Minor wife can complain against the husband within a year
  • Earlier, exception to Section 375 (rape) of the IPC, allowed a husband to
    have a sexual relationship with his 15-year-old wife
  • NGO Independent Though had filed the petition challenging the exception
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