The sentence was pronounced today. The bench of Justices does not want to address into the aspect of marital rape. Child marriages are already forbidden by the law, but the tradition continues unchanged in the villages.
New Delhi (AsiaNews) - The Supreme Court of India ruled that sexual intercourse with wives who are still minors will be considered to be rape. The verdict was issued today. The court had agreed with NGO Independent Thought, which filed the petition challenging the exception, on how when sexual intercourse with a minor aged below 18 amounts to rape under Indian Penal Code (IPC), it is not so once she is married.
The judgment overturns Section 375 (rape) of the IPC, which allows a husband to have sexual relationship with his 15-year-old wife, with or without her consent. The Bench had said that it did not want to delve into the issue of marital rape, because it is a Parliamentary legal matter.
Observers affirm that the decision was presented to the public as a landmark judgment. But it will not have effects on the phenomenon of child marriages, very common in India and already forbidden by the law. The legal age for marriage is 18 for women, 21 for men, according to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) of 2006. The PCMA establishes punishments for those who do not prevent child marriages and creates Child Marriage Prohibition Officers. In facts, the practice of child brides is still widespread, especially in rural villages. “Whether or not it (child marriage) is a social reality, for 70 years we have not been able to remove it,” the Bench had admitted.
Proposal to ban the custom fails. For Shabudin Yahaya, girls as young as nine are “physically and spiritually” ready for marriage. Under Islamic law, children under 16 can marry, a practice used to avoid prosecution in rape cases.
Judges state: "We have a life on our hands." The mother is 37 years old and 26 weeks pregnant. The anomaly of the fetus does not pose risks to the health of pregnant women. Dr. Carvalho: "When you discover problems with prenatal diagnosis, the predominant trend is abortion."
National conference of female religious scholars issues three fatwas. Child marriage is against Islamic law. Marriage age for women should be raised from 16 to 18. Every year, 340,000 girls are married. Sexual violence should also be banned, even in marriage. In Indonesia, 16,217 cases were reported in 2016. Environmental destruction for economic development should also be illegal.