The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO Act), which sets the age of consent at 18, poses challenging questions for judges handling these cases, according to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. He also stated that the legislature should take into account the growing concern surrounding this issue.
Speaking on the issue, CJI Chandrachud said,
“You are aware that the POCSO Act criminalizes all sexual acts among those under 18 regardless of whether consent is present factually among the minors, because the presumption of the law is that there is no consent among those below 18. In my time as a judge, I have seen that this category of cases poses difficult questions for judges across the spectrum. There is a growing concern surrounding the issue which must be considered by the legislature in view of reliable research by experts in adolescent healthcare. I should leave this topic right here, as this topic is very vexed as we see in courts everyday.“