MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has said that many countries have lowered the age of consent for teenagers to have sex and it is time that our country and Parliament also take note of what is happening around the world. Be aware A single bench of Justice Bharti Dangre, in an order passed on July 10, expressed concern over the increasing number of criminal cases under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, where the information about the victims being juveniles and having consensual relations Despite giving, the accused are punished.
The court said, “Sexual autonomy includes both the right to engage in desired sexual activity and the right to be protected from unwanted sexual aggression. Only when both aspects of the rights of the adolescent are recognized, can human sexual dignity be deemed to be fully respected?”
The court made the observation on an appeal filed by the 25-year-old man challenging the February 2019 order of a special court. The special court convicted him of raping a 17-year-old girl. The youth and the girl had claimed that they were in a consensual relationship. The girl, in her plea before the special court, claimed that under Muslim law, she is considered a major and hence has “married” the accused person.
Justice Dangre set aside the order of conviction and acquitted the man. He said that the evidence on record clearly makes out a case of consensual sex. He ordered to release him from jail. The High Court said that the age of consent should be distinguished from the age of marriage as sexual acts are not within the purview of marriage and not only the society but also the judicial system should pay attention to this important aspect.
Justice Dangre said in the judgment, “When a teenager enters into a sexual relationship, the issue of physical attraction or infatuation always comes to the fore and it is high time that our country is also aware of the happenings across the world.” It is necessary for our country to look at whatever is happening around the world in this regard, he said.