Raising age for consensual sex 'undemocratic': Court

Raising age for consensual sex 'undemocratic': Court

The proposed law to raise the age of consent for sex from 16 years to 18 would be ''undemocratic'' and a ''backward'' step, a Delhi court has said, adding that it would also give a ''tool'' to the police to harass teenagers.

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said it while acquitting Sandeep Paswan a native of Uttar Pradesh, charged with kidnapping and raping a minor girl, who had eloped with him and married at Arya Samaj Mandir in Lucknow.

"In my opinion, the raise in age limit for sex by consent to 18 years would not only be undemocratic and regressive but also a step in the backward direction.

"Such a move would open floodgates for prosecution of the boys for offence of rape, on the basis of complaints by the parents of the girl, no matter the girl would have been the consenting party and the offer to have sexual intercourse may have come from her side," the judge said.

It's more than once in recent past that a Delhi trial court has voiced concern over the government's move to raise the age limit for giving consent to have sex. The order has come on the heels of another judge, Additional Session Judge Kamini Lau raising similar concerns repeatedly.

ASJ Bhat, however, said it was not in favour of sex among teenagers and shared the concern of the parents of young children and the government, aimed at keeping them away from sexual activities.

"Raising the age limit, however, is not the solution to the problem and would serve no purpose except giving a tool to the police to harass the minor children," it said.
According to the police, the 15-year-old girl had gone missing from her house at Kapashera here in January 2011. Her parents searched her but could not get any clue. Her father then reported the matter to the police on February 17, 2011 and an FIR was registered.

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