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SC seeks Centre's response on PIL to decriminalize consensual sex between 16-18 year-olds

SC seeks Centres response on PIL to decriminalize consensual sex between 16-18 year-olds

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought Centre’s response on a PIL seeking decriminalisation of statutory rape law, often invoked against 16 to 18-year-old adolescents for indulging in consensual sex.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra has issued notices to Union ministries of law and justice and the home affairs and some other statutory bodies including the National Commission for Women.

The PIL filed by lawyer Harsh Vibhore Singhal challenges the legality of statutory rape laws that criminalise consensual sex between adolescents on the ground that their consent to such acts is statutorily invalid.

"Pass a writ of mandamus under Article 32 or any other direction in the nature of writ and exercise its powers under 142 to decriminalise the law of statutory rape as applied to all cases of voluntary consensual sexual contact between any 16+ to <18 adolescent with another similar age adolescent and with >18 adults," the plea stated.

It added that such adolescents possess “physiological, biological, psychological and social capacities, competence to assimilate and evaluate information to understand and comprehend risks, freedom to make informed choices to convey affirmative decisions or otherwise, and have the agency and decisional/bodily autonomy to fearlessly, freely and voluntarily do what they wish to do with their bodies.”

With inputs from PTI

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TAGS:Supreme Courtconsensual sexstatutory rape law
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