The crime of rape has shaken the whole of India and this crime has emerged as an epidemic for Indian society. Several attempts are being made by the state and Indian legislation to stop this crime. In society, the crime of rape has come as a curse; efforts are being made to stop rape at various social levels. Not only adult women are victimized by crime like rape, but also the young girls are suffering from heinous crime like rape.
In the case of Shri Budhwar Gautam vs. Shubhra Chakravarti AIR 1996 SC 922, it has been held by the Supreme Court that the crime of rape is a crime against human rights. This violates the right to live.
There are two sections in the Indian Penal Code regarding the crime of rape. Section 375 and Section 376 of IPC, 1860.
Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code in relation to the definition of rape. This section provides a clear explanation of rape. Rape is a crime in which the consent of the woman with intercourse is questioned. Sexual intercourse is also defined under this section. At one time, penetration of the penis into the vagina was considered sexual intercourse, but changes were made to this definition over time.
In 2013, revolutionary amendments have been made under this section. Different definition of sexual intercourse is given. Sexual intercourse under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code can be done as follows- A man –
(a) – enters his penis at any stage in a woman’s vagina, her mouth, urinary tract or anus, or by any of his Provides with another person or
(b) – any such object in a woman’s vagina, urinary tract, or anus, it covers any part of the body which is not gender to any extent or it does so with any other person Provides or
(C) – Hand wares any part of a woman’s body in such a way that a woman’s vagina, anus, urinary tract can be penetrated into any part of the body or does it with any other person or
(d) – He puts his mouth on a woman’s vagina, anus, urinary tract or does it with her or any other person.
Any such act is subject to seven conditions, which are mentioned under Section 375 of the Penal Code, and then it is believed that he has committed rape. From the above definition of sexual intercourse, it appears that the definition of sexual intercourse within the penal code has been greatly expanded in favor of the woman and putting the vagina to the mouth or even the finger will be considered rape but having such sexual intercourse is also a crime.
Those seven circumstances are–
- Against the will of the woman.
- Without the consent of the woman.
- The consent of a woman when her consent is obtained by putting her or any person with whom she is interested, in fear of death or injury.
- With the consent of the woman when the man realizes that she is not his husband and has given the consent that she believes that there is another man with whom she is lawfully married or believes to be married.
- When the woman gives her consent, at the time of giving such consent, she talks about what she consents to due to maladministration or abstinence, or because of a noun or unhealthy substance given by the man personally through someone else. , Is unable to understand the nature and consequences.
- With or without the consent of the woman when she is under 18 years of age.
- When a woman is unable to communicate consent. When it is sexual intercourse with a woman according to the definition of sexual intercourse given above in seven circumstances, the crime of rape is committed.
In relation to the crime of rape, the definition is very broad because not only consent is not considered a crime, but how this consent is taken has also been taken into consideration. This consent intimidation, intoxication. If it is taken from a woman or a deformed mind or from a woman unable to give consent, then sexual intercourse with such consent becomes rape.
In relation to a minor, sexual intercourse with a minor woman who is less than 18 years of age is considered rape. Even if she had consented to sexual intercourse, she had clearly given such consent. Even after such consent. The accused shall be deemed guilty of rape if he has intercourse with a woman below 18 years of age.
In this case Lalta Prasad vs State of Madhya Pradesh AIR 1997 SC 1276 has this case. There was no evidence that the girl was under 16 years of age, she had sexual intercourse without her consent and hence it was held that the accused was not guilty of rape. What evidence can there be in the crime of rape? There is a lack of direct witness in the crime of rape. The court has to take utmost care regarding the evidence in the rape case and carefully evaluate, analyze the case. Injured marks on the genitals of a woman aggrieved by rape, blood stains on her clothes, and then informing her parents immediately after the incident, some facts which are helpful in proving the crime of rape, hence the decision Time these facts should be kept in mind.
In the case of Bhupendra Sharma v. State of Himachal Pradesh, the Supreme Court has also determined that evidence of rape victim can be sufficient in rape cases, her affirmation is not necessary.
Similarly, in the case of Sudhanshu Shekhar Sahu v. State of Orissa AIR 2003 AC 4684, it has been said by the Supreme Court that the accused can be convicted only on the evidence of the rape victim, but she is safe and reliable. FIR in rape is a prima facie first information report in rape cases required to be filed immediately or there is no strict rule. Due to the fact that they can be pending, only on the basis of delay, the prosecution case cannot be considered untrustworthy.
In Dildar Singh vs State of Punjab. In this, student was raped by a teacher in his charge. She did not tell this thing to anyone due to fear, but when she came to know that she became pregnant, after 3 months, she was forced to tell the whole incident to her mother. Thus after 3 months the First Information Report was filed. The Supreme Court considered it excusable. The rape FIR can be delayed for some reason and the court may consider it a reasonable cause and the delay can be ignored.
Rape of wife. In some recent cases, the topic of rape of wife has also come out. In some cases the Supreme Court has also considered the registration of rape FIR by the wife as valid, but in later cases it was overturned. The second exception to section 375 states that any woman who is the wife of a man. If she is maltreated by her husband or is subjected to some other sexual act, then in such a situation she cannot bring a case of rape.
If she is less than 15 years of age, then in such a situation she can bring a rape case and if she was mated to a woman younger than 15 years and had any of the following seven circumstances then it would have become a crime of rape. .
The accused of rape will be male only. The first word under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code is male. Prosecution of rape on a woman cannot be conducted by making a man aggrieved because the word male is used at the beginning of the definition of rape.
Punishment for Rape
Section 376 provided for seven years of jail term to life imprisonment to whoever commits the offence of rape.
Latest Amendments in Rape laws
It is most important to discuss here that the nationwide public outcry, in 2012, popularly known as Nirbhaya Case following the December 16 gang rape and murder in Delhi, led to the passing of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act in 2013 which widened the definition of rape and made punishment more stringent.
Parliament made the amendments on the recommendation of the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, which was constituted to re-look the criminal laws in the country and recommend changes.
The 2013 Act, which came into effect on April 2, 2013, increased jail terms in most sexual assault cases and also provided for the death penalty in rape cases that cause death of the victim or leaves her in a vegetative state.
It also created new offences, such as use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe, voyeurism and stalking.
The punishment for gang rape was increased to 20 years to life imprisonment from the earlier 10 years to life imprisonment.
In January 2018, an eight-year-old girl in Rasana village near Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir was abducted, raped and murdered by a group of men. The news of the shocking act led to nationwide protests and calls for harsher punishment.
This led to the passing of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 which for the first time put death penalty as a possible punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years; the minimum punishment is 20 years in jail.
Another new section was also inserted in the IPC to specifically deal with rape on a girl below 16 years. The provision made the offence punishable with minimum imprisonment of 20 years which may extend to imprisonment for life.
The minimum jail term for rape, which has remained unchanged since the introduction of the IPC in 1860, was increased from seven to 10 years.
The Supreme Court has ruled that sex on the pretext of marriage is rape and a blow to the honour of a woman.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and MR Shah in their recent judgement observed that rape offends a woman’s dignity and esteem, and if for the fact the victim and her rapist have already settled in their lives and taking care of their families, could not be considered a ground to have the crime be null and void.
The court observed that such incidents were on the rise in modern society.
“It tantamounts to a serious blow to the supreme honour of a woman and offends both her esteem and dignity.”
The judgement came on a case registered by a woman accusing a Chhattisgarh-based doctor of raping her in 2013. The woman, a resident of Koni, Bilaspur, was familiar with the accused since 2009 and had a love affair.
The accused had promised to marry her and their families were in the know of this.
The accused was, however, engaged to another woman while he had the affair with the victim. He later broke his promise to the victim and married the other woman with whom he was engaged. An FIR was lodged against the accused and he was convicted of rape.