New Delhi: Opposing the proposal for lowering the age of consent for consensual sex from 18 to 16, CPI on Sunday said such a move will encourage child marriage and open a pandora`s box of social anomalies like trafficking of children.
"We differ from this position as we need to see the consequences of such a law. First, the minimum age for marriage for girls is 18 years and for boys 21. If age of consent is reduced to 16, it will encourage child marriage, which is still a problem in India," says a resolution adopted by the party`s National Council meeting here.
The proposal of lowering the age of consent from 18 to 16 is part of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2013.
CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said child marriage and teenage pregnancy have added to the high rate of maternal and infant mortality.
"We need to prevent child birth before the bride attains the age...So when the legal age of marriage is 18, it is clearly contradictory to have the age of consent at 16," the party said.
"This will open up a pandora`s box of social anomalies. Trafficking of children which in itself is a major problem will increase. ...In context of the alarming spread of HIV/ AIDS, this lowering of age of sexual consent will give a further fillip to this phenomenon," the CPI said.
The party also said that there are so many problems facing adolescent children--lack of proper education, absence of nutritious diet, malnourishment and most importantly zero level of sex-education.
"In this situation, National Council of CPI considers that the status quo in this regard should be maintained," the resolution said.
The three-day meeting of the National Council concluded here also discussed the preparation for the general elections and assembly elections including in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Karnataka.
The party said that it will join the electoral battle in states to increase representation in all the state assemblies that are going to the polls and for a strong Left block in Parliament.
"As the political situation is continuing to be grim and complicated, it is most probable that much more importance will be given to post-poll alignment of political forces than the pre-poll adjustments and alliances," it said.
"Even then, our party should be ready to go for seat adjustments and even alliances with different secular democratic parties. The goal of such adjustment and alliances need to be greater representation for the Left, particularly the CPI. Of course, this will differ from state to state," party leader D Raja said.