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Report No. 84

2.19. History.-

The age of consent has been subjected to increase more than once in India. The historical development may, for convenience, be indicated in the form of a chart as follows1:-


Year Age of consent under sec. 375, 5th clause, I.P.C. Age mentioned in the Exception to sec. 375, I.P.C. Minimum age of marriage under the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
1860 .................... 10 years 10 years -
1891 (Act 10 of 1891)(after the amendment of I.P.C.2) 12 years 12 years -
1925 (after the amendment of I.P.C.) 14 years 13 years -
1929 (after the passing to the Child Marriage Act) 14 years 13 years 14 years
1940 (after the amendment of the Penal Code and the Child Marriage Act) 16 years 15 years 15 years
1978 .................... 16 years 15 years 18 years

1. Position as on 31st March, 1980.

2. Amendment Act 10 of 1891 amending the I.P.C. was the result of the Calcutta case of Queen Empress v. Hurree Mohan Mythee, 1890 ILR Cal 49, in which the accused caused the death of his child wife, aged aboUt 11 years and 3 months, by having sexual intercourse with her. The accused was convicted under section 338, I.P.C. (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life etc.), since the law of rape as it stood then was inapplicable to intercourse with a girl above the age of 10 years.

Rape and Allied Offences - Some Questions of Substantive Law, Procedire and Evidence Back

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