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Thursday, 22 October 2020

Adult can’t consummate marriage with minor: HC

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21

A person aged more than 21 years is not entitled to consummate his marriage with a minor girl and sexual acts with the child will amount to rape under Section 375 of the IPC, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled.

Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi also made it clear that the court could order keeping the minor girl in a home set up for children in need of care and protection if she expressed the desire not to go with her parents or her relatives and in-laws did not come forward for her custody on the condition of keeping her separate from her husband and not allowing him to consummate the marriage.

The ruling came in a case where a husband was seeking directions to Bal Kunj at Chhachhrauli in Yamunanagar to release his wife from its "illegal custody". Directions were also sought for quashing the order dated July 15 passed by the Bilaspur Judicial Magistrate First Class, whereby his wife was ordered to be lodged there "against her wishes".

Referring to the Supreme Court judgment in Independent Thought's case, Justice Tyagi asserted that a husband would be guilty of rape under Section 375 of the IPC, punishable under Section 376 of the IPC, if a girl above 15 years, married before attaining the minimum marriageable age of 18 years, was subjected to intercourse with or without her consent. In case of penetrative sexual assault more than once, he would be guilty of aggravated penetrative sexual assault under Section 5(l) of the POCSO Act.

from The Tribune

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