Indian parents using sexual offence law to control teen romance

Misuse of law has entangled teens in harsh justice system with far-reaching repercussions

The sex abuse law does not allow for consensual, non-exploitative sex among teens below 18 in India, which has the world's largest adolescent population. PHOTO: REUTERS
Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

BENGALURU - India’s law protecting children from sexual abuse is being widely misused to criminalise teenagers having consensual sex. Around a quarter of the cases are filed against teen lovers – predominantly by unhappy parents.

Juvenile justice groups, judges and even the police are now demanding that the law recognises India’s sexual reality. 

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.