Indians are facing a tough time with young adults ending up having sexual relationships with their peers. However, it has to be remembered that in India, a boy having sex with a girl who is below the age of 18 is considered rape. Of course, it means it is punishable under the law.
However, various organizations and the present chief justice of India, DY Chandrachud, are urging the center to take a stand with the increasing number of cases coming to court. The CJI of India feels that due to mutual consent, many cases are making the judge think twice before passing a judgment. Meanwhile, Union Minister Smriti Irani has made it clear that India will pass no such law.
Till the gruesome Nirbhaya case, no extensive changes were made to rape laws. Following the Nirbhaya case, the Indian government passed the POCSO Act, which protects children from all kinds of sexual abuse. Under the law, the accused can face prison time of up to 20 years and even the death penalty in cases of aggravated penetrative sexual assault.
While boys can be sent to observation homes or jails, and girls too are sent to shelters if they don’t want to return home to their parents. Hence, there is growing pressure on the Indian government by NGOs and those from the judiciary to lower the bar to 16 years, as India has about 253 million people between the ages of 10 to 19.