Press Esc to close
Friday 29 August 2014
News updated at 2:21 AM IST
Weather
Max: 24.4°C
Min : 20.1°C
In Bangalore
Generally cloudy

UPA buckles, keeps age for consensual sex at 18

NEW DELHI, Mar 18, 2013, DHNS:

Anti-rape bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today

New Delhi: Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath addresses the media at Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday during the ongoing Budget session. PTI Photo

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government retained the age for consensual sex to 18 years instead of 16 owing to strong opposition during an all-party meeting.








Despite the politics, interestingly, the age of consent for sex has always been 16 years as defined in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) but the criminal law (amendment) ordinance issued on February 3 post-Delhi gang-rape had increased it to 18 years.

Since the government is in a hurry, it is learnt, to table the draft legislation in Parliament, a Cabinet meeting held on Monday evening cleared the suggestions of political parties, including the one on age of consent for having sex. 

The government convened a meeting of all parties in the morning. As a consensus eluded,  another round of meeting was held in the afternoon.


A senior leader who was present in the all-party meetings said that a modification has been suggested in the consent provision, which is that if an adolescent boy of the age below 18 has sex for the first time with a girl in similar age group, he will be sent to probation for a year. Only, if the boy repeats the offence again will the criminal act be treated as statutory rape. And prosecution follows, as per the Justice Juvenile Act, till he attains adulthood.

But, entering a modification may further complicate the criminal law since given the fact that at times trial in the country takes a decade for a judgment to come. By that time the verdict is out, the child accused becomes an adult. Also, technically, will the case reach finality at the stage of filling a charge sheet by the police or when judgment is delivered for the repeat offence counting to start? In both circumstances, believe legal experts, chances of the provision being misused are high.

However, the confusion on the consent began when last year the government brought it to 18 years under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, for compatibility among various laws that deal with sexual offences, a demand for increasing the age to 18 years was made, which required amending the IPC also. 

Many parties, whether in Opposition or UPA allies, including the BJP, CPI, Samajwadi Party and the BSP were against lowering the age to 16, ignorant of the fact that this age has been in existence for decades in the IPC. But, other parties were open to it.

Some parties also expressed reservation on the loose definition of provisons in sections dealing with sexual harassment.

For instance, the bill intends to insert new rules in Section 354 of the IPC to tackle “stalking.” Section 354(d) sub-clause 111 says any man who “watches or spies on a woman in any manner” will be charged with stalking.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Union Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda during a visit to Ernakulam railway station in Kochi ...

Union Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda during a visit to Ernakulam railway station in Kochi ...

Bomb Squad members checking a suspected bag found at Bandra Station in Mumbai ...

Bomb Squad members checking a suspected bag found at Bandra Station in Mumbai ...

Red Cross workers walk through an Ebola hit area  in Monrovia, Liberia ...

Red Cross workers walk through an Ebola hit area in Monrovia, Liberia ...

Models take part in awareness campaign 'Save Ganga and Green India' in Bhopal ...

Models take part in awareness campaign 'Save Ganga and Green India' in Bhopal ...

Siddaramiah presenting kit to a beneficiary  during launch of 'Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana' ...

Siddaramiah presenting kit to a beneficiary during launch of 'Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana' ...

Ganesh idol made of dry fruits ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai ...

Ganesh idol made of dry fruits ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai ...

A young girl viewing Ganesh statues for sale on the eve of the Ganesh Chaturthi in Jaipur ...

A young girl viewing Ganesh statues for sale on the eve of the Ganesh Chaturthi in Jaipur ...

Team owners Sachin Tendulkar and Ranbir Kapoor during the launch of Indian Super League ...

Team owners Sachin Tendulkar and Ranbir Kapoor during the launch of Indian Super League ...

John Abraham, signs a football during the launch of the Indian Super League, in Mumbai ...

John Abraham, signs a football during the launch of the Indian Super League, in Mumbai ...

Founding chairperson Nita Ambani at the launch of the Indian Super League in Mumbai ...

Founding chairperson Nita Ambani at the launch of the Indian Super League in Mumbai ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523