News 12 october — 11:45

India Supreme Court rules sex with child bride is rape

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India's Supreme Court has struck down a legal clause that permits men to have sex with their underage wives, BBC reports.

The clause, which was part of India's law on rape, said intercourse between a man and his wife was permissible as long as she was over 15 years of age.

The legal age of consent and marriage in India is 18 but marital rape is not considered an offence.

The verdict has been hailed by women's rights activists but correspondents say the order will be difficult to enforce.

The judgement said that girls under 18 would be able to charge their husbands with rape, as long as they complained within one year of being forced to have sexual relations.

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