Delhi LG Sends Proposal to MHA, Recommends Non-consensual Sex with Wife Aged 15-18 Yrs Be Treated as Rape


Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena has sent a proposal to the home ministry recommending that non-consensual sex with a wife aged between 15 to 18 years will amount to rape and punishable under the Indian Penal Code, according to Delhi Police sources.

It will also remove the discrepancy between the POCSO Act, which is applicable to offenses against anyone up to 18 years and the prevailing provisions of the IPC, they said.

“Saxena has sent a proposal to the MHA recommending striking down of Exception 2 of Section 375 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), that provides if a girl child between 15 and 18 years is married, her husband can have non-consensual sexual intercourse with her, without being penalized under the IPC,” the sources said.

“If the recommendation is incorporated and the IPC amended, non-consensual sex with a wife between 15 to 18 years will amount to rape and will be punishable under the IPC.

“It will also remove the discrepancy between the Protection of Children against Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, which is applicable to offenses against anyone up to 18 years and the prevailing provisions of the IPC,” they added.

The proposal to this effect was moved by the Delhi Police and Law Department in response to a letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The home ministry had asked for the city government’s opinion on the subject in light of a Writ Petition in the Delhi High Court, challenging the validity of Exception 2 of Section 375 of IPC on the grounds that it violates Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution and is also not in harmony with the provisions of the POCSO Act, which defines a child to be a person below the age of 18 years.

Since the subject matter “criminal law” is in the concurrent list and enforced by the state/Union Territories, in the light of its far-reaching consequences, the MHA had sought views/comments from all state governments/Union Territories.

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