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Updated: Nov 9, 2020


Dharshan Chandar S, III year of B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.)


This article deals with the form of human assault. In this modern era, women are fearful to face society because of the animatic behaviour of humans. Laws have been enacted, but crimes continuing throughout the country, the law should be severe. The rape is sexual intercourse with another person without the person’s consent. The rape and its effects on victims have evolved historically alongside ideas about gender and sexuality. Recently, the definition of rape has been expanded to include any gender, and now contain a strict definition of consent. International law defines rape as a crime against humanity and a potential intention action to destroy people. Rape shield laws prohibit legal testimony regarding a victim's sexual behaviour to prevent the victim from being placed on trial along with the defendant.

Rape – Section 375 of IPC

A man is said to commit rape if he pierces his penis to any extent, into vagina, mouth, urethra either anus of a woman either forcefully to do with him either any other person either inserts to any extent any object either a part of a body. Firstly, there is sexual intercourse against her will of the person. Secondly, compelling her to have sexual pleasure with him. Thirdly, when she threatened him in fear of death either hurt, compelling her interest in sexual intercourse. Fourthly, with her consent, she knows that he is not her husband and she gave the consent, she believes herself to be lawfully married. Fifthly, with her consent, at the time of giving consent, because of unsoundness of mind either intoxication Or the administration by him personally either through another of any stupefying either unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the consequences of what she gave consent. Sixthly, with either without consent, she is under 18 years of age Seventhly, unable to communicate consent by her.

Punishment for rape

It implies under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1881. Whoever commits rape shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment which shall not be less than seven years, but which may extend to life imprisonment and also liable to fine.

Israel – Imprisonment for a maximum of fifteen years of the criminal act. Egypt- It still follows the slightly outdated mode of death by hanging. China – Death sentence either castration.

Saudi Arabia – Public beheading after administering the rapist with a sedative.

North Korea- Death by firing squad.

Iran – Sentenced to death, sometimes by hanging but sometimes allegedly also by stoning.

Violation of Fundamental Right

Rape is violative of the victim's fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. So, the courts should deal with such cases seriously and severely, especially asserting authority either exercising discipline. Sexual violence, apart from being a humanizing act, is an unlawful intrusion on the right of privacy and sanctity of a woman. Rape is not only an offence against a woman; it is a crime against the whole society. Rape is one of the cruellest crimes against basic human rights and also violates the most cherished fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. Rape is not only a physical assault – it is often destructive of the whole personality of the victim.

Chemical castration

Rejecting the proposal of Chemical Castration as a punishment for rape committee observed:” We note it would be unconstitutional and inconsistent with basic human rights treaties for the state to expose any citizen without their consent to potentially dangerous medical-side effects.

For this reason, we do not recommend mandatory chemical castration of any type as a punishment for sex offenders.

Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1983 (Mathura Act)

Acquittal of the policeman in the infamous Mathura Rape Case and the nationwide protest against the verdict led to the 1983 Amendments to the Rape Laws in India. Sections 375 and 376, IPC has been substantially changed by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1983 (Act 43 of 1983). The same Act has also introduced several new sections 376A, 376B, 376C and 376D of IPC.

376A punishes sexual flavours with wife without her consent by a judicially separated husband. 376B punishes sexual intercourse by a public servant with a woman in his custody. 376C punishes sexual abuse by Superintendent of Jail, Remand Home, etc., with inmates in such institutions.

376D punishes sexual intercourse by any member of the management either staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital. These sections were introduced to stop sexual abuses of the woman in custody, care and control by various categories of persons which though not amounting to rape were nevertheless considered highly reprehensible.

Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 (Nirbhaya Act)

The December 2012 Nirbhaya rape incident and the nationwide protest forced the Government to constitute Justice J S Verma Committee, to recommend changes in the existing Rape Laws. Based on the recommendations of the Verma Committee, these amendments were introduced. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 19 March 2013 and by the Rajya Sabha on 21 March 2013. The Bill received Presidential assent on 2 April 2013 and came into force from 3 April 2013. It introduced major amendments to the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Indian Evidence Act 1872 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

Custodial Rape

The prosecutor and her husband were taken into custody by the police on a false plea that she had been abducted. At the police station, they were kept in a separate room and she was raped by the accused head constable. His conviction u/s. 375 was upheld. For combating the vice of custodial rape, rape on pregnant woman, rape on girls under 12 years of age and gang rape, a minimum punishment of 10 years imprisonment has been made obligatory. However, for special reasons to be recorded in the judgement the Court, in either case, can impose a sentence lesser than seven Or ten years, as the case may be.

A woman suffering from Somnambulism

A woman suffering from the above disease (sleep-walking) and epilepsy walked out of her home in sleep at 2 a.m. and reached a particular spot from where the accused who were five in murder led her to a lodge and subjected her to gang rape. Injuries symptomatic of rape and all other symptoms were found to be there. The Court said that no circumspection should be shown to such persons.

Gang rape

Gang rape implies in Section 376D of the Indian Penal Code, 1881. Whoever, is the management of any institutions, the staff of an institution takes advantage of his position and has sexual intercourse with any woman in that institution, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which

may extend to five years and liable to fine. Gang rape is also called serial gang rape either multiple perpetrator rape is the rape of single victim by two Or more violators. The study says that for serial gang rapes, up to 30% cases for targeting another race Or religion.

Punishment for repeat offenders

According to a report by the Pew Charitable trusts, approximately four out of ten people released from prison are returned to prison within three years. In some states, the number of repeat offenders also called recidivists, is even higher. Repeat offenders can pose danger to people and property, and state governments spend millions of dollars incarcerating, releasing and re-incarcerating repeat offenders. Whomever previously convicted of an offence punishable under Section 376 Or Section 376A Or Section 376D shall be punished with imprisonment for life, shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person's natural life, Or with death.


I would like to emphasize sexual violence poses an obstacle to peace and security. It impedes from participating in peace and democratic processes and post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. Many women lose their health, livelihoods, families and support networks due to rape. This, in turn, can shatter the structures that anchor community values, and disrupt their transmission to future generations. Today's adoption of resolution 1960 (2010), on sexual violence, is an important step in that direction.


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