Man should not be punished for having consensual sex with girl below 18, observes Delhi Court

Man should not be punished for having consensual sex with girl below 18, observes Delhi Court

A Court in Delhi has said that if a man who has consensual sex with a minor girl cannot be booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

While setting free a 22-year-old man from West Bengal accused of abducting and raping a 15-year-old girl whom he later married, the court said that according to evidence, the two got married voluntarily with consent and no case was made out for kidnapping and inducing woman to compel her marriage.

Quashing the plea by police and Delhi Commission for Women that the POCSO Act prohibited minor girls from having sex, the Judge said "In my opinion, it would neither serve the object of present enactment nor the purpose of criminal laws to hold the accused guilty on the ground that he had sexual intercourse with the girl below 18 years." The judge, however, asked the authorities to spread awareness about unsafe sex and early marriage.

"I'm afraid if that interpretation is allowed, it would mean that the human body of every individual under 18 years is the property of the state and no individual below 18 years can be allowed to have pleasures associated with one's body," the Court has reportedly said.