CJI suggests lowering age of consensual s*x, know what the govt said
CJI suggests lowering age of consensual s*x, know what the govt said

New Delhi: The central government on Wednesday (December 21) said in the Rajya Sabha that it is not going to reduce the age limit for consensual sex from 18 years to 16 years. Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani has said this in the Upper House. In fact, a question was asked to the government in the Rajya Sabha whether it was considering lowering the age of consent. Responding to this, Smriti Irani has said that the question of this does not arise at all.

The government's remarks came a few days after Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud said that the legislature should set the age of consent under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. The POCSO Act criminalizes consensual sex for people under the age of 18, even in 'romantic' relationships. The CJI made this comment against the backdrop of a spate of cases demanding that 'romantic relationships' should not be criminalized. 

To this, Union Minister Smriti Irani responded that the POCSO Act was brought in 2012 to protect children from sexual offenses. This law provides protection to any child below the age of 18 years. The Union Minister said that the 'POSCO Act was amended in 2019, in which the provision of strict punishments like the death sentence was also added to this law. All this was done so that sexual crimes against children could be stopped.'

The Union Minister further said, 'In case of an offense committed by a child, Section 34 under the POCSO Act already provides for the procedure for the determination of age by the Special Court for the offense committed by the child.' She further added that if any question arises in any proceeding before the Special Court as to whether a person is a child or not, such question shall be determined by the Special Court after satisfying itself as to the age of such person and shall record in writing the reasons for the determination. She added that 'Additionally, the Majority Act, 1875, which was amended in 1999, provides 18 years of age for attaining majority.'

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