Justice Lokur said Section 375(2) as it existed had taken away the girl child's right to decline sex with her husband and worse, made non-consensual sex by the husband not an offence.The judgment, however, gives rise to several questions, including whether the minor wife would overcome social compulsion and bring rape charges against her husband?
This artificial distinction is arbitrary and discriminatory and is definitely not in the interest of the girl child." Despite Parliament enacting the Prevention of Child Marriage Act, 2006, which penalises a man marrying a girl below 18 years of age with a jail term up to three years, a number of child marriages are solemnised secretly.
With this SC ruling, men marrying girls below 18 and having sex with them could face rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years under IPC or even life term under POCSO Act.
A 15 or 1 6 year-old girl, when forcibly subjected to sexual intercourse by her 'husband', undergoes trauma, which her body and mind is not ready to face.
The girl child is also twice more likely to die in childbirth than a grown-up woman." READ ALSO: Doctors say U-18 childbirth injurious to kid, mother Justice Lokur said the distinction between unmarried girl child and a married girl child under Section 375(2) was in breach of the right under Article 15(3) that provides for special protection for women and weaker sections of society and right to life protected under Article 21 of the Constitution as also India's international commitment under Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).
She appeared for her Higher Secondary Exams in March 2000.