India’s supreme court struck down a loophole that allowed men to have sex with a girl under the age of 18, as long as they were married.

In India, it is illegal for an adult to have sex with someone below the age of 18. However, this excluded married couples where the girl was older than 15-years-old.

46% of women between 18 and 29 were married before reaching legal adulthood. India has nearly 12 million children who were married before the age of 10, according to census data. Majority of them were girls from poor and rural families.

The supreme court struck the law down as it “encouraged child marriage.”

Previous Indian governments have defended the loophole, arguing that due to the social and economic conditions in the rural parts of the country, child marriage is an unfortunate reality.

Children are often married off when they are infants in many Indian communities. The consummation of the marriage is usually delayed until the girl reaches puberty, this is typically marked by her first period.

Mass child marriages are often performed on “auspicious” days such as the Akshaya Tritiya festival.

Activists around the country cheered Wednesday’s decision.

“A minor girl being abused by her husband will tell her mother: ‘I’m feeling pain. [Sex] is uncomfortable. Please help me,’” said activist Kriti Bharti. “But mothers say: ‘It’s your destiny. You are a female so you have to go through this.’”

Bharti acknowledged that court’s decisions would be difficult to enforce but could have long-lasting consequences. “From now on, a girl who is exploited can go to the police, can go to the justice system and say: ‘I am being abused,’” she said.

Marital rape is currently not recognised in India. The Delhi high court is currently hearing a challenge to the law. The Indian government argues against the change, saying it would “destabilise the institution of marriage” and put husbands at risk of “harassment”.

Sources

The Guardian

  • disqus_tFII42Etcg

    Hinduism is about to collapse. There was a time when India could have become a Christian nation. But It will probably become Muslim in order to protect childhood marriage.

    • Prakhar Jain

      FYI Child Marriages are more common in The latter, than in Hinduism, (as of today) in India.

      “The definition of child marriage was last updated by India with its The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006, which applies only (a) to Hindus, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and those who are non-Muslims of India, and (b) outside the state of Jammu and Kashmir. For Muslims of India, child marriage definition and regulations based on Sharia and Nikah has been claimed as a personal law subject”

      • disqus_tFII42Etcg

        Didn’t you see the other article on MiloNews? All theses Indians will now become Muslim because Muslims are always exempted from laws others have to obey.

        • Kristen Bonifield

          what prakhar was saying is that muslim has more common child marrage than hinduism.

  • “India has nearly 12 million children who were married before the age of 10”

    Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code makes sex with persons of the same gender punishable by law.
    But up until last week, having sex with underage girls has been legal ??

    Once again we see the filthy fingerprints of religion.

    • RonJohn

      Which came first: the tradition and the selfishness or the religion? Since man made God in his own image *it’s not religion*.

    • John Doe

      it’s not religion, its people, nowhere in this is “filthy fingerprints of religion”. It’s not religion that makes people sexually assault children, it isn’t some institute that is forcing people to go out and rape anyone. It’s people plain and simple. Blaming religion will never solve the problem.

    • Kristen Bonifield

      the consideration here is that some countries still have laws and metalitys of centeries past. in very old history it was uncommon to live past 30-40 so marrying off a 10 year old was lagitament and logical. (not really good for them but short life span ment you survive how you can) however with the vast changes to human life spans, the way the world works, what we know and are taught exct it’s HORRIBLE to marry off a 10 year old. its bad to marry off someone under 18 because we deem that when they are able to make choices and decisions for themselves. However MOST (not all but MOST) cases where that is still implimentd are either because of religion (muslum) or religion used to defend tradition (hindusim) so religion isnt always bad but can and IS used for evil.

    • I_h8_disqus

      You need to focus on the real cause. Religion isn’t doing anything. People are doing these things. If there was no religion, people would still do the same things. You need to stop believing the lie that people are naturally good, and that religion makes them bad. People are bad. Religion is usually the restraint.

  • Steve O

    India is making progress at becoming a modern society. The progress may seem slow at times, but it is steady.

  • RonJohn

    “From now on, a girl who is exploited can go to the police”

    Those are the same activists who cry out that Indian police are ineffective (which they are).