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ANALYSIS OF RAPE REGULATIONS IN INDIA

Author: Deep Kathin, V Year of B.L.S.,LL.B from Rizvi Law College/ Mumbai University.


Abstract

Rape is a heinous and intrusive act. It has the power to transform the victim's life completely. When a crime is committed, the victim may be able to go on with their life. In the case of rape victims, however, this is not the case. After the incident, the victim will have to deal with a slew of other concerns. Many rape victims suffer long-term ramifications as a result of their ordeal. Rape laws in India have been a source of contention for a long time, but following the Delhi rape case event, the debate heated up, resulting in significant modifications to the country's rape laws. In India, rape rules are enshrined in the Indian penal code, which was enacted in 1860. Since then, the situation has altered dramatically as the crimes have become more terrible and the number of incidents has risen dramatically. Rape, the most terrible crime, continues to occur at an alarming rate in our culture. Even after new laws have been implemented, the condition has not improved; in fact, it has gotten worse, as the number of instances has skyrocketed, despite the fact that the majority of incidents continue to go unreported owing to societal pressure. One of the primary questions that need to be addressed is why, despite so many changes in the legislation, victims of rape are stigmatized by society and the system. The study examines the Indian legal system in relation to rape, focusing on sections 375 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.



Keywords: - Rape, Voyeurism, Disrobing, Girl Child, Prostitution.



Introduction

Rape is a violent crime that many women see as life-threatening conduct that leaves them feeling terrified and humiliated. Sexual offenses, such as rape, are a distinct type of crime that arises from a man's wrongdoing and destructive thinking. Rape is defined as the use of force against a woman without her consent, whether through fear or deception. Rape, in general, is the material knowledge of any woman when she reaches puberty, against her will, or of a woman’s child, with or without her consent, when she is under the age of puberty. 33,356 rape crimes were registered in India in 2018, according to the National Crime Records Bureau's (NCRB) 2018 periodic report.


India's rape laws aren't completely accurate. India has been recognized as one of the countries having the highest rates of rape per capita. A guy commits rape only when he engages in sexual activity with a woman. Under many conditions, a woman may be dragged against her will and engage in sexual activity with a male without her consent. The woman is pushed to the point where she is threatened with murder, and in many cases, killing occurs. In certain situations, the woman is drugged to the point that she gets captivated and loses her mind, rendering her incapable of comprehending the nature and repercussions of what she agrees to with the male. Rape is one of the most serious issues confronting people all over the world. India is one of the countries that is known as the world's rape capital. Rape is a growing problem in today's culture, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the awful statistics surrounding incidents. In India, this is the fastest-growing crime. According to the most recent data from 2018, India ranks third in the world for rape occurrences.



Social Impact and problems faced by the victim

In India, the victim of rape is the most traumatized, and society, rather than encouraging the victim, often humiliates them. The majority of rape incidents in India go unreported due to the victim's stigma.


Rape is particularly stigmatizing; a rape victim (specifically one who was formerly a virgin) may well be perceived as "damaged" by society. Victims may be isolated, have friends and relatives abandon them, be barred from marrying, divorced if it was already married, or perhaps even killed.


The following are some of the issues that rape victims face:

  1. Restriction of one's rights to life and personal liberty

  2. Forced to go through painful processes and questions from both inside and outside the court.

  3. Society has shunned them, and they have been denied the right to an education at times.

  4. Attempting to make her a controversial figure has resulted in her being exploited by the media and the persons involved.

  5. Various political parties interfering in the problem or making it a political issue.

  6. The victim is denied access to certain rehabilitative and maintenance services.

  7. Delay in the trial process, resulting in a delay in the delivery of justice.

  8. Difficulty on the part of the investigative agency in identifying the true perpetrators.


Furthermore, women are frequently harassed by police personnel when filing a First Information Report and by doctors during medical examinations; victims are sometimes tormented by authorities to the point of suicide. According to research, 6% of raped high school girls attempted suicide. Rape as well as other types of sexual assault on children can cause short- and long-term harm, as well as psychopathology later in life. Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, disordered eating, low self-esteem, post-traumatic- traumatic stress, and mental illnesses; general psychological problems and abnormalities such as somatization, neurosis, chronic pain, sexualized behaviour, school/learning problems; and behaviour problems such as substance abuse, destructive behaviour, criminality, and suicide are among the psychological, emotional, physical, and social effects.



The MATHURA RAPE CASE is yet another label for it. A 16-year-old girl from the "Mathura" tribal community was raped by two police officers in a police station in this case. Following that, the family members filed a criminal complaint against the cops involved. The Supreme Court of India, on the other hand, dismissed the case, finding that "Mathura's body displayed no visible signs of rape." This verdict has sparked a massive movement among numerous women's organizations across the country. Four eminent law professors addressed an open letter to the Chief Justice of India challenging this decision in a row. After this incident, a criminal law amendment was made in response to the entire occurrence. The following are the key elements of the amendment in 1973:

1. The term "custodial rape" had been coined for the first time.

2. Closed proceedings for the rape trials.

3. It is also prohibited to reveal the identity of victims.


The State of Maharashtra vs. Madhukar is another case. Madhukar, a police inspector, had come on the door of one Banubi's hut late at night and intended to be physical with her. However, when she heard her neighbor and husband arriving, she began shouting. The inspector was fired as a result of her complaint. However, following the initial investigation, it was discovered that Banubi was a "lady of easy virtue." On the police inspector's appeal, the High Court took into account Banubi's easy virtue and ruled in favor of the inspector. According to the Supreme Court, a woman of easy virtue has the right to privacy, and no one has the authority to invade her privacy at any time. As a result, no one has the right to violate a female person whenever he wants. If someone tries to violate her privacy against her will, she has the right to defend herself. She is also entitled to legal protection. As a result, her evidence cannot be tossed overboard simply because she is a woman of easy virtue.


Rape is clearly a heinous crime that causes significant trauma to the victim. Rape victims are almost always women. A woman's body is not her property, and no person has any right to touch her unless she consents. Following the Nirbhaya Rape case, in which a woman was brutally raped while out late at night, our government has made steps to remediate the situation and enforce existing laws. It has been observed that the judiciary, as the third pillar of the Constitution, has played a critical role in rape cases. After the horrifying Delhi Gang Rape case, which stunned the entire nation with the ferocity of the deed perpetrated, the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013 was enacted. The legislature was forced to consider revising the current rape laws due to widespread demonstrations and agitation. The primary objective was to make them stricter and impose heavier penalties, as well as to widen the scope and interpretation of the word “rape”. The Late 'Justice Verma Committee,' which included late Justice J.S.Verma, Gopal Subramaniam, and ex-Justice Leila Seth, was formed to collect opinions and make a recommendation for the legislature to draught legislation to counter rape and other crimes against women. The special committee was so vigorous in its work that it obtained as many as 80,000 recommendations for consideration during its brief existence. Activists, attorneys, NGOs, and other representatives of the alleged "civil society" sent these recommendations. The committee's recommendations were introduced through an ordinance because the legislature was adjourned and there was no session.


The crime of rape has now been altered or given a wider definition that encompasses any type of penetration as well as any portion of a woman's or girl's body. This was the most significant alteration, as previously, Penile Vaginal Penetration was only defined as rape under section 375 of the IPC. From police stations to courtrooms, victims are harassed at every opportunity. Every stage of the victims' battle for justice, from the poor healthcare system to the criminal enforcement system, adds to their agony. The society in which we live plays a critical role in obstructing access to justice. As a result, the full impact of the legislation will never be accomplished unless and until societal change occurs concurrently with legislative reforms.


Conclusion

With rapid changes in the socio-economic structure of society, India's condition has evolved dramatically in the recent decade. The structure of offenses committed in India has altered as a result of the clash between new generation thinking and previous generations' conventional thinking. The necessity for judicial awareness, as well as a shift in thinking and mentality, is urgent. Persons are being educated to see women as people, not commodities, and to advocate and enforce women's rights. Women's safety should not be left solely in the hands of the police, but should also be the duty of the general population. Changes need to be made not only within the legislation but also in people's thoughts, such that rape victims are no longer stigmatized. To ensure that rape victims are never longer abused, changes need to be made not only to the legislation but also to the public's mindset. Laws may have become more rigorous in the aftermath of the occurrence, but enforcement remains a problem on the ground, with the number of instances increasing year after year.



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