Anti-rape law: Age of consent raised back to 18 years

Mar 19, 2013, 04:22 IST | IANS

The government has agreed to increase the age of consent from 16 to 18 years in the anti-rape bill it plans to introduce in the Lok Sabha Tuesday, informed sources said Monday.

"Consensual sex with a girl under 18 years old will be treated as rape," said a government source after a consensus on the issue was arrived at an all-party meeting here.

According to these sources, in case of a minor who is accused of gender crimes, he will have to undergo a probation of one year as punishment for the first offence but will be charged with rape if he is booked for a second time.

The government will bring the amendments on the issue when the bill is brought up in the lower house.

The cabinet will meet Monday evening to approve the amendments, said the sources.

Lawyers, activists slam consent age of 18
Lawyers and activists slammed the government for agreeing to retain the age of consent at 18 years in the anti-rape bill that it plans to introduce in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The lawyers and activists argued that the step would unnecessarily affect those under the age of 18 who have consensual sex. If the age had to be retained to 18, “a ‘young person’s defence’ should have been introduced — which means that people who are having sex consensually should not be criminalised”, lawyer Vrinda Grover. 

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