A 16-year-old Muslim girl has become the focus of a petition in the Supreme Court where Muslim Personal Law clashes with the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, which prescribes 18 years as the age for sexual consent. There are some precedents, but this case is an important landmark.
The POCSO Act criminalises all sexual activity for those under the age of 18, regardless of whether it is by mutual consent. In an era of internet, mobiles, OTT, movies and evolving minds of minors, how realistic is it for those aged 18 to consent to sex? Should it not be reviewed or reduced in the present circumstances?
An SC order has stated that if custodial interrogation is not required in a case, anticipatory bail cannot be granted by itself. It is vital to see the nature of the offence and severity of punishment, especially in POCSO cases.