Engaging in Consensual Sex with Girl below 16 Years is Rape: Punjab & Haryana HC [Read Judgment]

Engaging in Consensual Sex with Girl below 16 Years is Rape: Punjab & Haryana HC [Read Judgment]


If the girl is below 16 years, the other partner in the sexual act is treated as a criminal. 


The Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Anita Chaudhary ruled that in a consensual sex if the girl is below 16 years of age, the other partner in the sexual act is criminally liable  and termed ‘consensual sex’ in such a situation as void.

This verdict was given by the High Court in a rape case involving a man from Gurgaon accused of kidnapping and raping a minor girl in 2010.The accused had kidnapped and raped the victim, who was around 15 years of age on January 22, 2010. He was tried before the district court Gurgaon following a complaint by the victim’s family, which on October 10, 2010, held him guilty for kidnapping and raping a 10th standard student who was 15 years old and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment.

The aggrieved convict countered the sentence and filed an appeal in the Punjab High Court. He argued that the girl had stayed with him, and it was a case of consensual sexual relationship and thus sought leniency in the sentence.

His plea was however rejected on March 30 by the High Court by observing that a minor is incapable of thinking rationally and whether it is civil law or criminal law, the consent of a minor is not treated as valid.

"A minor girl can be lured into giving consent for such an act without understanding the implications. Such consent, therefore, is treated as not an informed consent given after understanding the pros and cons as well as consequences of the intended action. Therefore, as a necessary corollary, duty is cast upon other person of not taking advantage of the so-called consent given by a girl who is less than 16 years of age," the Court observed while dismissing the appeal filed by the accused.

Read the Judgment here.