Cabinet agrees to bring down age of consent to 16
cabinet Thursday cleared the anti-rape bill by agreeing to replace
the word "sexual assault" with "rape" and reducing the age of
consent from 18 to 16 years, informed sources said. The sources
said the cabinet cleared the bill at a
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Friday strongly opposed the central government’s
move to lower the age limit of consensual sex from 18 to 16 years.
"While consensual sex outside
marriage is itself a big social evil, lowering the age limit for
consensual sex will further jeopardize the social and family
structure in a religious country like India", said Nusrat Ali,
General Secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
A group of ministers, headed by
Finance Minister P Chidambaram, has yesterday decided that the age
of consent will be lowered from 18 to 16 years. The central
government had formed the group to finalize the upcoming anti-rape
He said this provision would lead to
sexual anarchy in the country as school going children aged 16 and
above will get involved in sexual activities.
“We are of the view that sex, consensual or forced, outside
marriage should be a crime. It must be a punishable offense
irrespective of the age limit. As for lowering the age limit for
consensual sex, this will lead to an unimaginable socially corrupt
situation in the society. Not only this, this provision will
increase in crimes rather than controlling it as the government
wishes,” he said.
“We demand the government to first
withdraw its move to lower the age limit of consensual sex. We
demand that consensual sex outside marriage to be declared a
cognizable offence,” he demanded.