A draft bill, which will soon be introduced in the cabinet, says consensual sex between children aged 16 to 18 is not a criminal offence, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath told the Hindustan Times on Tuesday. Tirath was refuting a media report which stated that the draft Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2010, sought to bring down to 12 the age of consensual, non penetrative sex, the paper said.
"I want to make it clear that the women and child development ministry's draft bill says that if there is consensual sex between children of age 16-18, it's not an offence. Below the age of 16 is an offence," Tirath told reporters at a press gathering, the paper said.
No explanation was offered as to why 16 was set to become the magic age, or why the age of consent needed to be reconsidered.