Follwing are key highlights of the Supreme Court judgement that held sexual intercourse with a girl below 18 years of age, even by the husband, would amount to rape:
* Amended the wordings of 'Exception 2 of Section 375 (definition rape) of the IPC, as: "Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under eighteen years of age, is not rape."
* Exception 2 to Section 375 IPC was "arbitrary, capricious, whimsical and violative of the rights of the girl child and not fair, just and reasonable and, therefore, violative of Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution."
* Court makes it clear that it did not deal with issue of marital rape (sexual intercourse with wife without her consent) of adult women".
* Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta were unanimous that there should be harmonious construction of all pro-child laws
* SC refers to observation of European Commission of Human Rights that "A rapist remains a rapist regardless of his relationship with the victim"
* Court hits out at the Centre for not criminalising sexual intercourse with a girl under 18 years of age even if the exploiter was her husband.
* Welfare schemes and "catchy slogans" are excellent for awareness campaigns but they must be backed by focused implementation programmes.
* Hindu and Muslim Marriage laws not in consonance with Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
* A married girl below 18 years of age "cannot be treated as a commodity.
* There is a fundamental right to a girl child to live with dignity.
* Court takes note of two contrary repoerts of Law Commission on whether to criminalise sexual activity between a man and his minor wife.
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