Between 20, an estimated 47 percent of girls in India were married before their 18th birthday and 18 percent by the age of 15.

Flavia Agnes, women's rights lawyer and founder of the NGO Majlis, called the verdict a "big milestone", but questioned its practicality.

"It has to be implemented only if the wife files a complaint," she said.

The Indian Supreme Court has ruled that sexual intercourse with a wife between the age of 15 and 18 years is a crime.

In a landmark ruling on Wednesday, India's top court amended the country's rape law and declared that sex with an underage wife illegal under India's Penal Code (IPC).

It is said that Brigitte’s family, the Trogneux, respected chocolatiers in the northern French town of Amiens – (coincidentally now specialising in macarons) – did not immediately approve of the relationship with Mr Macron.

At one point, according to a local journalist with a long memory, the love affair created a “pure scandal”.

The resulting end of his relationship with official partner Valerie Trierweiler (nicknamed the rottweiler) did at least mean the short, bespectacled Mr Hollande dared appoint to his cabinet Ségolène Royal, the mother of his four children, whom he had left for Mme Trierweiler.

And yet the French nicknamed him Monsieur Normal – probably fairly, because Hollande’s reputation as a ladies man is nothing compared to that of Valerie Giscard d’Estaing, who shortly after being elected in 1974 was involved in a dawn collision with a milk float while driving home a woman who wasn’t his wife.

Agnes, however, said the ruling empowers women "in a limited manner" and more measures need to be taken to put an end to child marriage in the country.