New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre on a PIL seeking a direction for fixing the wife’s age of consent for having sexual relations with her husband at 18 years.

Agreeing to hear the PIL, a bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan sought response from the Centre on the issue. The court passed the order on a petition filed by an NGO, iThought seeking its direction for amendment of section 375 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code which makes an exception on age of consent of the wife for sexual relations with her husband.

The exception in section 375, which was recently amended by the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013, states that "sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape."

Advocate Vikram Srivastav, appearing for the NGO, submitted that if the age of adulthood has been fixed at 18 years, the same should apply in the case of age of consent of a woman for sexual intercourse.


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