I'm confused about the age of consent for sexual relations. Is it 18 or 16?

IPC (1860) has various sections like 375 which criminalises sex with girl under 18years of age even with her consent. But some High Court and Supreme Court delivered judgements which conflict with IPC (section 375 etc).

So in light of latest laws (like POCSO Act etc), what exactly is the age of consent in India? (Is it gender neutral?)

Edit : For further reading on this issue this news article is helpful.

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    It may help if you cite your sources, especially the legislation and the judgements you say it conflicts with. – Rock Ape Jan 18 at 8:11

Independent Thought vs Union Of India (2017) apparently states the law of India, presently, and the answer is, 18. India being a common law country, the Supreme Court has the power to interpret the law when the statutory language might suggest something else. The issue is that marital intercourse is often an exception to rape laws (India does not recognize rape between husband and wife). The court ruled that "sexual intercourse with a girl below 18 years of age is rape regardless of whether she is married or not". The court found the legal distinction between married girls and unmarried girls to be unnecessary and artificial, discriminatory, and not in the best interest of the girl child. They leave untouched the lack of application of rape law to married couples over 18. This extends legal prohibitions beyond what is stated in POCSO, a law discussed in para 37 ff of the ruling. One can detect in degree of dissatisfaction on the court's part with the legislature's failure to reach the conclusion that they announce.

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    Wait until you've gotten through law school, then you may have a better perspective on "being sure". – user6726 Jan 18 at 17:04
  • @ColinLosey Law is like history, not like physics: you can't be sure in most cases. – Trish Jan 18 at 19:12

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