I was taken back for a moment when I saw the Bill to seek 12 year olds to have non-penetrative sex. It is probably shocking to most, indeed to almost all Indians as the society is conservative. But it is really about grading punitive levels, however, it is not reflective of the society at large, but it is making room for an eventuality.
Bill seeks to let 12-yr-olds have non-penetrative sex India
Read more: 2 similar draft bills on child abuse lead to confusion - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/2-similar-draft-bills-on-child-abuse-lead-to-confusion/articleshow/7400208.cms#ixzz1CfLpvMGN
Section 3 of the draft lists under exceptions of unlawful sexual act with a child:
(i) Any consensual non-penetrative sexual act penalised by this chapter is not an offence when engaged in between two children who are both over 12 years of age and are either of the same age or whose ages are within two years of each other.
(ii) when engaged in between two persons who are both over 14 years and are either of same age or whose ages are within three years of each other.
The bill will soon be sent to the cabinet, after which a parliamentary standing committee will scrutinise it.
Suggestions and objections from the states will be considered then, said a senior official at the ministry of women and child development.
The law ministry too has been working on a similar bill with an identical name, in which the age of consent is mentioned as 16 years, with no gradation. The circulation of two bills with the same title has created confusion.
Opinion on the minimum age are divided. Aparna Bhat, an SC lawyer who was part of a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights group that drafted the latest bill said the gradation of age down to 12 years was to decriminalize sexual exploration by two children.
Under the existing law, if two 12-year-olds get physical and if one childs parent complains, the other can be pulled up by the Juvenile Justice Board.