Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 23rd ft. Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Kerala High Court

 Is marital rape a form of cruelty?

Treating wife’s body as something owing to husband and committing sexual act against her will is nothing but marital rape.

In a very significant decision, Kerala High Court held that merely for the reason that law does not recognize marital rape under the penal law, it does not inhibit the Court from recognizing the same as a form of cruelty to grant divorce.

High Court expressed:

if marriage is seen as a symbol to project status, without reflecting the values the individuals or society would cherish to profess, we may miss the basic concept required for marriage

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/10/marital-rape/


Supreme Court

SC issues directions to make voter’s right to information more effective; penalises political parties for non-compliance with earlier directions regarding disclosure of criminal antecedents: Read full report

“The nation continues to wait, and is losing patience. Cleansing the polluted stream of politics is obviously not one of the immediate pressing concerns of the legislative branch of government.”

In a matter arising out of the elections held at Bihar Legislative Assembly, the Supreme Court found several political parties guilty of contempt of court for non-compliance of directions given by the Supreme Court in Rambabu Singh Thakur v. Sunil Arora, in connection with disclosure of information of candidates with criminal antecedents. Penalties have been imposed on the political parties found guilty. The Court also issued further directions in order to make the right of information of a voter more effective and meaningful.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/13/fine-on-political-parties/

Foreign arbitral award enforceable against non-signatories to agreement; ‘perversity’ no longer a ground to challenge foreign award; tort claims arising in connection with agreement are arbitrable: SC expounds law on foreign awards

 A foreign arbitral award is enforceable against non-signatories to arbitration agreement. The Supreme Court reiterated that grounds for resisting a foreign arbitral award contained in Section 48(1)(a) to (e) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 are to be narrowly construed, and that a non-signatory’s objection cannot possibly fit into Section 48(1)(a). Furthermore, a foreign arbitral award cannot be challenged on the ground of “perversity”.

Incidental to the main issue, it was also held that Section 44 recognises the fact that tort claims may be decided by an arbitrator provided they are disputes that arise in connection with the subject agreement.

The instant appeals before the Supreme Court raised interesting questions relatable to Part II of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act which provisions deal, inter alia, with recognition and enforcement of foreign awards.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/11/foreign-arbitral-awards/

Conundrum of res judicata and rejection of plaint: SC summarises guiding principles for deciding an application under Or. 7 R. 11(d) CPC

Another very interesting development from the Supreme Court was that, the Court summarized the guiding principles for deciding an application under Order 7 Rule 11(d) of CPC.

(i) To reject a plaint on the ground that the suit is barred by any law, only the averments in the plaint will have to be referred to;

(ii) The defense made by the defendant in the suit must not be considered while deciding the merits of the application;

(iii) To determine whether a suit is barred by res judicata, it is necessary that (a) the ‘previous suit’ is decided, (b) the issues in the subsequent suit were directly and substantially in issue in the former suit; (c) the former suit was between the same parties or parties through whom they claim, litigating under the same title; and (d) that these issues were adjudicated and finally decided by a court competent to try the subsequent suit; and

(iv) Since an adjudication of the plea of res judicata requires consideration of pleadings, issues and decision in the ‘previous suit’, such a plea will be beyond the scope of Order 7 Rule 11(d), where only the statements in the plaint will have to be perused. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/10/conundrum-of-res-judicata-and-rejection-of-plaint/

15 years after superannuation, a Govt. Employee still accommodated at Govt. accommodation: Does SC finds this legitimized?

In a conflict of Right to Shelter v. Right to Govt. accommodation, SC noted that a Kashmiri Migrant retired from the Intelligence Bureau was even after 15 years of his retirement still staying at the accommodation provided by the Government.

Court in view of the stated backdrop affirmed that,

If a retired government employee have no residence, they have an option to avail transit accommodation or to receive cash compensation in the place of transit accommodation.

Further, the Government accommodation is only meant for in-service officers and not for the retirees or those who have demitted office.

Holding that the right to shelter does not mean right to government accommodation, the matter was disposed of directing the retired officer to vacant the accommodation. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/13/right-to-government-accommodation/


Telangana High Court

Mother allows her live-in partner to sexually assault minor daughter continuously

 In a gruesome matter, Telangana High Court noted that a mother allowed her live-in partner to commit sexual assault on her minor daughter as result of which the minor became pregnant and gave birth to a male child.

High Court rejected the bail application of the mother.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/09/mother-allows-her-live-in-partner-to-sexually-assault-minor-daughter-continuously/


Kerala High Court

Penetration between thighs of the victim held together; will it fall within the ambit of Rape?

Whether penetration to any part of the body of such woman as mentioned in Section 375(c) of IPC brings within its ambit a penile sexual act committed between the thighs held together; which do not qualify to be called an orifice?

In a historic decision the Kerala High Court held that the sexual act of penetration committed between the thighs of the victim held together is an act of manipulation of the body of the victim to obtain sexual gratification and the same fell within the ambit of the amended definition of rape.

Elaborating more, the Court stated that , when the body of the victim is manipulated to hold the legs together for the purpose of simulating a sensation akin to penetration of an orifice; the offence of rape is attracted. When penetration is thus made in between the thighs so held together, it would certainly amount to “rape” as defined under Section 375.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/09/rape-3/

Kerala HC directs Kerala to reinstate the woman terminated for unauthorised absence on availing maternity leave

While addressing the grievances of a woman whose request for maternity leave was turned down by the State and to then exacerbate her agony, she was terminated from service on the accusation of unauthorised absence. Voicing the plight of the pregnant women in general, the Kerala High Court stated,

“Life as a new mother is like being on a roller-coaster and being a working mother is tougher. The minutiae of motherhood can never be properly contemplated and it involves navigation through myriad daily issues, which ultimately determine the health and future of the child.”

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/13/maternity-leave-3/


Bombay High Court

Can mere dishonour of cheque amount to abetment of suicide?

In the backdrop of a matter wherein a person committed suicide living behind an alleged suicide note naming the person who did not repay the deceased’s money. Though there was a big question mark on the genuineness of the suicide note.

High Court held that mere dishonour of cheque and refusal to pay the remaining balance amount involved in the transaction does not amount to abetment to commit suicide.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/10/mere-dishonour-of-cheque/

Would throwing love chit on person of a married woman amount to outraging her modesty?

Modesty of a woman is most precious jewel and there cannot be a straitjacket formula to ascertain whether modesty is outraged.

Bombay High Court dealt with a matter wherein a 45 year old married woman was subjected to a situation where a man threw a chit on the person of woman professing love for her, noting the said fact Court held that this act was sufficient to be categorized under the ambit of Outraging the modesty of woman, As even on earlier occasions the man used flirted with the woman making gestures like pouting lips and hitting her with small pebbles.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/11/outraging-modesty-of-a-woman/


Central Information Commission

Centre’s denial on information relating to committee set up to ensure adequate availability of medical oxygen during COVID-19, is justified?

 Two weeks back, Central Information Commission dealt with a very pertinent matter, wherein an activist approached the Commission seeking certain information on the 9-Member Committee set up in April 2020 to ensure the adequate availability of medical oxygen during COVID-19 Pandemic.

In the arguments submitted by the Centre, they contended that the said information cannot be provided as the High level discussions of the empowered group frequently form part of the discussions within the highest decision-making body to avert and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the country and thus must be protected from disclosure given the larger intent to protect such information from being misused or being adversely used against the interest of the state.

The Commission directed the Centre to provide a point wise reply the activist within 10 days and in case if any information was being denied then the same should be suitably justified.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/13/centres-denial-on-information-relating-to-committee-set-up-to-ensure-adequate-availability-of-medical-oxygen/


Appointments

Appointment | Kerala High Court gets 2 new Additional Judges 

Two new Additions in the form of Additional Judges were made to the Kerala High Court vide notification dated 11th August 2021 by the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Read the Notification here:

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/11/appointment-of-additional-judges/

 


Legislation updates 

IBC (Amendment) Act, 2021 

The Central Government has notified the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Amendment Act, 2021 which has brought Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process for MSMEs. The Act repeals the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 and amends the provisions of IBC Act, 2016. 

The Application for initiating Prepacked Insolvency Resolution Process may be filed in the event of a default of at least one lakh rupees. However, the Central Government may increase the threshold of minimum default up to one crore rupees through a notification.   

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/13/pre-packaged-insolvency-resolution-for-msmes-introduced-vide-ibcamendment-act-2021/  

Rent-a-Cab (Amendment) Scheme 2021 

The Central Government has notified Rent-a-Cab (Amendment) Scheme 2021 which provides that the battery-operated motor cabs and motor cabs driven on methanol and ethanol is exempted from the provisions under S. 66 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/12/battery-operated-motor-cabs-driven-on-methanol-and-ethanol-exempted-from-necessity-of-permits-vide-rent-a-cab-amendment-scheme-2021/  

Income tax Amendment (22nd Amendment), Rules, 2021 

The Central Board of Direct taxes has notified the Income tax Amendment (22nd Amendment), Rules, 2021 which provides the procedure for computation of income of a specified fund attributable to units held by non-resident as well as the procedure for computation of exempt income of specified funds. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/12/determination-of-income-of-specified-funds-associated-with-units-held-by-nri-notified-vide-income-tax-amendment-22nd-amendment-rules-2021/  

In the Monsoon Session, Various Bills Have Been Passed by Parliament Such as:

  1. Tribunal Reforms Bill, 2021 [ https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/10/parliament-passes-tribunal-reforms-bill-2021/]
  2. General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 [ https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/12/parliament-passes-general-insurance-business-nationalisation-amendment-bill-2021/
  3. National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 
  4. National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/12/rajya-sabha-clears-national-commission-for-homoeopathy-amendment-bill-2021-and-national-commission-for-indian-system-of-medicine-amendment-bill-2021/  

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: The Division Bench comprising of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Kauser Edappagath, JJ., held that merely for the reason that the law does not recognise marital rape under penal law, it does not inhibit the court from recognizing the same as a form of cruelty to grant divorce.

Expressing concern over situation as it exists with regard to arranged marriage that is followed traditionally in our country; the Bench stated that the choice for a woman is limited as they simply follow the guidance of parents or elders. The Bench further stated that if marriage is seen as a symbol to project status, without reflecting the values the individuals or society would cherish to profess, we may miss the basic concept required for marriage. Voicing the plight of the respondent in the instant case, the Bench expressed,

“The case in hand depicts a story of the struggle of a woman within the clutches of law to give primacy of choice “not to suffer” in the bondage of legal tie. An insatiable urge for wealth and sex of a husband had driven a woman to distress. In desperation for obtaining a divorce, she has forsaken and abandoned all her monetary claims. Her cry for divorce has been prolonged in the temple of justice for more than a decade (12 years). She still awaits a final bell to answer her prayers and cry.”

Facts of the case

The instant appeal arose from a common judgment allowing a petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty and dismissal of a petition for restitution of conjugal rights. The couple had an arranged marriage and had two children in the wedlock. The appellant-husband had claimed to be a qualified medical doctor at the time of marriage but he never practised as a medical doctor and was rather engaged in the real estate business and construction. The real estate business was not a smooth run for the appellant as he never succeeded in the business.

A case of cruelty was put forward by the respondent-wife on constant harassment and demand for money in spite of the fact that she had been given 501 gold sovereigns at the time of marriage besides car and flat. It was the case of the respondent that the respondent’s father gave Rs.77 lakhs to the appellant on different occasions apart from that the respondent contended that the entire gold ornaments were also misappropriated by the appellant. The respondent also alleged sexual perversion and physical harassment as a part of the cruelty; while the allegations of extramarital relationship were levelled against the respondent by the appellant.

The Family Court had allowed the divorce petition filed by the respondent and the petition filed for restitution of conjugal rights by the appellant was dismissed.

Analyses and Opinion of the Court  

Noticing that the appellant’s own father had approached the police with complaints against the him stating that he had been compelling him to give more money, been ill-treating his wife and members of her family, and even threatening his sister and her two children over the phone daily with danger to their lives, the Bench stated that the ‘cruelty’ reflects the character of a person. The Court, therefore, is required to adopt social semiotic approach to analyse the conduct in given situation.

Opining that the demand for money had to be taken into account in the background of the fact that the appellant never cared to provide love and care to the respondent or his children, the Bench was of the view that in the matrimonial life of the appellant and the respondent, the respondent never felt any security or affection or care from the side of the appellant. This, coupled with the fact of constant harassment demanding money, had caused mental pain, agony and sufferings to her.

The physical cruelty and mental cruelty meted out to the respondent had been narrated succinctly in the oral testimony given by the respondent. In spite of the respondent having helped the appellant monetarily in every possible manner, it turned to be a strategy for the appellant to get more money from the respondent and her father in the pretext of his debt using his fiduciary relationship for financial gain and bargain.

Relying on the decision of the Supreme Court in Samar Ghosh v. Jaya Ghosh, (2007) 4 SCC 511, the Bench held that the appellant’s licentious and profligate conduct could not be considered as part of normal conjugal life. Therefore, the Bench held that insatiable urge for wealth and sex of a spouse would also amount to cruelty. Similarly, the unsubstantiated allegations of adultery alleged by the appellant also constituted mental cruelty.

Marital Rape as a Ground for Divorce

The respondent had deposed that even during her pregnancy, the appellant abused her and had committed forceful sex when she was sick and bedridden. She also deposed that she was subjected to the worst form of sexual perversion and unnatural sex against her will. The respondent deposed that the appellant even did not spare her for sex even on the day the appellant’s mother expired. She also stated that the appellant forced her to have sex in front of their daughter. Considering that there was no serious challenge against the narration of sexual conduct, the Bench opined that there was no reason to disbelieve the respondent’s version that the appellant often forced her to have unnatural sex.

Opining that a husband’s licentious disposition disregarding the autonomy of the wife is a marital rape, the Bench stated, albeit such conduct could not be penalised, it falls in the frame of physical and mental cruelty. Marital rape, though alien to Indian penal jurisprudence, had been defined in Black’s Law Dictionary 8th Edition as “a husband’s sexual intercourse with his wife by force or without her consent”. Hence, marital rape occurs when husband is under notion that body of his wife owe to him. In modern social jurisprudence, spouses in marriage are treated as equal partners and husband cannot claim any superior right over wife either with respect to her body or with reference to individual status. Treating wife’s body as something owing to husband and committing sexual act against her will is nothing but marital rape.

Right to respect for physical and mental integrity encompass bodily integrity, any disrespect or violation of bodily integrity is a violation of individual autonomy. Therefore, marital privacy is intimately and intrinsically connected to individual autonomy and any intrusion, physically or otherwise into such space would diminish privacy. This essentially would constitute cruelty. Hence, merely for the reason that the law does not recognise marital rape under penal law, it does not inhibit the court from recognizing the same as a form of cruelty to grant divorce. Accordingly, the Bench held that marital rape is a good ground to claim divorce.

Findings and Suggestions by the Court

Considering that sex in married life is the reflection of the intimacy of the spouse and the evidence of the respondent clearly established that she was subjected to all sorts of sexual perversions against her will, the Bench upheld the divorce granted by the Family Court.

The Bench opined, a spouse in a marriage has a choice, a choice not to suffer, which is fundamental to the autonomy guaranteed under natural law and the Constitution. Law cannot compel a spouse to suffer against his or her wish by denial of divorce by the court. Expressing concern over plight of the women caught in such marital ties, the Bench expressed,

“This depicts a sordid tale of a woman losing a precious part of her life in a battle of fate. In a changed scenario of marriage in the society, shifting from the social philosophy to individual philosophy, we are afraid whether the present divorce law on enumerated grounds would stand to the test of constitutionality”.

Observing that fine balancing of individual choice and individual’s best interest is missing in law relating to dissolution of marriage, the Bench made following suggestions to introduce reform in existing law:

  1. “Paternalistic intervention through legislation must be limited to help and aid parties in taking a decision for their own good. Therefore, the framework of divorce law must be with an objective to help individuals to take a decision on their own affairs.
  2. The forum provided under law to decide upon the fate of a relationship must be conceded with a power to enable parties to decide on the best possible choice governing their own affairs by themselves and not by wresting the power on a fictional ground to decide on their fate.
  3. The court should articulate its power in a scientific temper to help individuals to make decisions on their own affairs.
  4. Modern-day mediation, medical help like psychological and psychiatric, involvement by families and friends etc., would progressively help the parties to take a decision of their own choice.
  5. Our law also should equip to deal with marital damages and compensation. We need to have a law dealing with human problems with a humane mind to respond.
  6. Marriage and divorce must be under the secular law; that is the need of the hour. Time has come to revamp the marriage law in our country.”

[X v. X, Mat. Appeal No. 151 of 2015, decided on 30-07-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Appellant: (Party in person)

For the Respondent: Adv. Millu Dandapani

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: While deciding the present case wherein the focal point was marital rape and unnatural carnal activity, the Bench of J.B. Pardiwala, J., observed that a wife is not a chattel and a husband having sexual intercourse with his wife is not merely using a property, he is fulfilling a marital duty with a fellow human being with dignity equal to that he accords himself. He cannot be permitted to violate this dignity by coercing his wife to engage in a sexual act without her full and free consent. Furthermore, the Court urged that the time is ripe that the legislature intervenes and goes into the soul of the issue of marital rape as it is a serious matter which unfortunately is not attracting serious discussions at the end of the Government.

In the present matter, the applicant was accused by his wife of inflicting torture and performing sexual activity (often unnatural) without her consent on many occasions. It was argued by the applicant’s counsel Jigar Gadhvi that, in India, marital rape is not recognized and the same is not an offence. However it was submitted that at the most a prima facie case of cruelty under S. 498A of IPC can be made out against the applicant. Appearing for the respondents, Rajesh K. Shah contended that the present case is one of marital rape as there was unwanted intercourse by the applicant with his wife and the consent was obtained by force. Thus the case at hand is one of non-consensual act of violent perversion by a husband against the wife where she was abused physically and sexually.

The Court delved into the  provisions concerned of the Penal Code i.e. Sections 377 and 376. The issues raised by the Court were that whether a husband can be prosecuted for the offence of rape under Section 376 of IPC at the instance of his wife; whether a wife can initiate proceedings against her husband for unnatural sex under Section 377 of the IPC; and is there a concept of marital rape. After a detailed analysis of the provisions and the facts of the case, the Court observed that Section 377 identifies certain acts which if committed would constitute an offence and such a prohibition regulates the sexual conduct regardless of gender identity and orientation. Consent is not the determining criterion in the case of unnatural offences and rather any offence which is against the order of nature and can be described as carnal penetration would constitute an offence under Section 377, thereby making it clear, that a wife can initiate proceedings against the husband under Section 377 for unnatural sex. The Court however noted that as per the current legal position the wife cannot initiate proceedings against her lawfully wedded husband for the offence of rape punishable under Section 376 as the idea is that, by marriage a woman gives irrevocable consent to her husband to have sex with her any time he demands it. The Bench however strongly stressed that marital rape is not merely a concept and stated that, “It is time to jettison the notion of ‘implied consent’ in marriage. The law must uphold the bodily autonomy of all women, irrespective of their marital status.” [Nimeshbhai Bharatbhai Desai v. State of Gujarat,2018 SCC OnLine Guj 732, decided on 02-04-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ reserved the judgment in the issue relating to criminalising of forced sexual acts by the husband with his minor wife.

The Court was hearing the petition filed by NGO Independent Thought and Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, appearing for the NGO had contended before the Court that by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, the age of consent for sexual intercourse by a girl, which was earlier 16 years has now been increased to 18 years, however, exception 2 to section 375 of the IPC still retains the age of consent as 15 years, due to which there is a huge gap of three years in the age of consent for a married girl child and an unmarried girl. He added that if the object behind increasing the age of consent to 18 years in 2013, was that a girl below that age is incapable of realising the consequences of her consent, then marriage of girl between the age of 15-17 years does not make the girl mature enough, mentally or physically, for the purpose of consent.

Taking note of the argument, the Court had, on 01.09.2017, sought to know whether it can create an offence by striking down the exception 2 of section 375 of IPC which the Parliament has refused to do. It also showed concern over the fate of the children born from such marriages if the provision was struck down. [Independent Thought v. Union of India, Writ Petition(s)(Civil) No(s). 382/2013, order dated 06.09.2017]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Hearing the plea questioning the validity of a provision permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife, even if she was aged between 15 and 18 years, the bench of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ expressed dismay over the prevalence of the practice of child marriage despite the existence of the Child Marriage Prohibition Act and said

“It is a hard reality and is unfortunate that most of the child marriages happening in the country are done by parents of the girl child. However, to this, there are odd exceptions when a minor boy and girl fall in love and marry on their own.”

Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, appearing for NGO Independent Thought, brought to the Court’s notice that by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, the age of consent for sexual intercourse by a girl, which was earlier 16 years has now been increased to 18 years, however, exception 2 to section 375 of the IPC still retains the age of consent as 15 years, due to which there is a huge gap of three years in the age of consent for a married girl child and an unmarried girl. He added that if the object behind increasing the age of consent to 18 years in 2013, was that a girl below that age is incapable of realising the consequences of her consent, then marriage of girl between the age of 15-17 years does not make the girl mature enough, mentally or physically, for the purpose of consent.

Taking note of the argument, the Court sought to know whether it can create an offence by striking down the exception 2 of section 375 of IPC which the Parliament has refused to do. It also showed concern over the fate of the children born from such marriages if the provision was struck down.

The Centre, on the other hand, had contended that child marriage were still happening in the country due to uneven economic and educational development and it has been, therefore, decided to retain the age of 15 years under exception 2 of section 375 of IPC, so as to give protection to husband and wife against criminalising the sexual activity between them.

The next date of hearing on the matter is 05.09.2017.

Source: PTI

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The bench of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak gupta, JJ has sought response from the Centre as to whether Parliament has debated the aspect of protecting married girls between the age group of 15-18 years from the forced sexual acts by their spouses and whether the court could intervene to protect the rights of such married girls who may be sexually exploited by their spouses.

The Court was hearing the plea that had challenged the constitutionality of the exception under Section 375 IPC which says the intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not a rape. NGO Independent Thought contended that the distinction made in between 18 and 15 is illegal and unconstitutional as a girl in the age group of 15-18 is not that physically developed and she is not capable of taking an informed decision or consent. It was argued that the Parliament cannot impinge upon Article 21 by allowing the girl to marry under 18 years of age and allowing her to get pregnant or have intercourse. Centre, however, responded by saying that all the aspects have been considered pragmatically by the Parliament and keeping the child marriage prevalent in some societies,  the age of 15 has been kept as a threshold.

The bench noticed that declaring the law unconstitutional may have some serious repercussions as there are cases when college-going teens, below 18 years of age, engage in sexual activities consensually and get booked under the law and the boy suffers even when he is not at fault. Similarly, when a girl, under 18 years of age, elopes and engages in consensual sexual activity, the male gets booked for rape. The Court, hence, asked the Centre to apprise it about the number of prosecutions under the Child Marriage Act for past three years in three weeks and listed the matter for hearing after 4 weeks.

Source: PTI