Rape Law Bill Withdrawn

Rape Law Bill Withdrawn

The Justice Ministry has withdrawn its draft bill to amend the Penal Code’s Sections which deal with statutory rape.

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe came under criticism for lowering the statuary rape consent age limit to 14 years.

Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksha said:
“We informed the Supreme Court on Thursday when the matter came up that we are not proceeding with this,”

Currently the law states that sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16, with or without her consent, amounts to rape.

The draft amendment says that where a girl child is over 14 but under the age of 16, a man is below 22 years old, and sexual penetration has occurred with the consent of the victim, the court can impose a sentence of less than 10 years or suspend the term of imprisonment.

The intention had been to grant some discretion to judges in cases, especially where there has been a romantic relationship.
Where a young boy engages in sexual intercourse with a girl less than 16 years, and is convicted of rape, the court has no discretion to impose a sentence which is less than the minimum mandatory sentence even if there are circumstances that may justify the imposition of a lesser sentence.

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