New Delhi [India], Jan. 5 (ANI
): The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Central Government to examine the "conflict" between the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Jagdish Singh Khehar was hearing a plea filed by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi's NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).
The NGO contends that there is a conflict in the Indian Penal Code - which terms children as those aged under 15 years - and the POCSO - which terms children as those aged under 18.
The POCSO specifies that sexual assault below children 18 years amounts to rape.
But as far as the IPC is concerned, under an exception to section 375, a man is not guilty if he has sexual intercourse with his 'wife' if she is more than 15 years old, despite the fact that child marriage continues to be illegal under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
BBA appealed to the Supreme Court
to end this "statutorily-backed" crime against children and sought clarity on the issue.
BBA told the apex court that sexual intercourse with any child below the age of 18 should amount to rape and the anomaly brought in by the Indian Penal Code ( IPC
) shall not come in the way.
The Bench has directed the Centre to address these issues within four months. (ANI