New Delhi, Feb 6 : The Law Commission has proposed today that marriage below 18 years should be prohibited and marriage below 16 years be declared void.
The Commission has also recommended that the registration of marriage should be made compulsory.
The Commission has proposed that marriages between children below the age of 16 and 18 be made voidable (which can be annulled with mutual agreement between both the parties).
The Commission's panel member Kirti Uppal has stated that the panel has proposed that the age for sexual consent to be raised from 15 years to 16 years for all girls, regardless of marriage.
If the Government accepts the proposal then even consensual sex with girls below 16 years would also invite punishment for men indulging in sexual relation with them.
Sex with wife below 15 years is now punishable under section 375 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code).
To make sure that the young women and children are not destitute, the Commission recommends the provisions for maintenance and custody for both void and voidable marriages.
The Commission found that the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 (PCMA), did not make a child marriage invalid. But under criminal law, section 375 of IPC makes it a crime to have sex with a child below 15 years.