A grave inconsistency is highlighted by Noble Laureate Kailash Stayarthi considering section 375 of IPC and section 5(n) of Protection of Children Against sexual Offences Act.
Section 375 IPC provides an explanation clause saying that “sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape.” However, section 5(n) of the POSCO Act mentions that sexual intercourse with a child below 18 years of age is an “aggravated penetrative sexual assault” to be dealt with penal consequences.
Further to this, section 6 of POSCO provides rigorous imprisonment for not less than 10 years for anyone found guilty under section 5(n).
A bench headed by the CJI J.S. Khehar and comprising Justice N.V Ramana and Justice D. Y Chandrachud asked the Ministry of Women and Child Development to examine and file a detailed report on the issue.
The PIL filed by advocates Bhuwan Ribhu and Jagjit Sigh Chabra asks for declaring the POSCO provisions as mandatorily enforceable in all cases of sexual assault upon children below 18 years of age, regardless of their marital status.