Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code defines rape as “Sexual intercourse with a woman, without her consent, against her will, by coercion, misrepresentation or fraud or at a time when she has been duped or intoxicated, or is of unsound mental health and in any case if she is under 18 years of age.”
It’s rape if it falls under the given categories:
1. Against her will.
2. Without her consent.
3. With her consent, when it has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
4. With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband. But the girl has given her consent because she believes that she is lawfully married to him.
5. With her consent, when she was intoxicated or in the state of unsound mind or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she doesn’t understand the consequences of the act for which she gives consent.
Exceptions to Section 375 of Indian Penal Code:
(1) If a woman doesn’t physically resist penetration, then it will be regarded as the sexual activity.
(2) A medical intervention or procedure shall not be considered as an offence of rape.
(3) Sexual intercourse by a man with his wife who is older than 18 years of age.
Amendment to Section 375 of IPC
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, also known as the Nirbhaya Act was passed in Parliament to amend Section 375. The amendment was majorly done to rule out the ambiguity that existed in the previous law and created room for the strict punishment during the occurrences of sexual violence. The section was also altered specifically to define Sexual Assault meaning.
Sexual Assault means:
(a) Insertion of penis into the vagina, the anus or urethra or mouth of any woman or child or makes her do so with him or any other person.
(b) Insertion of an object or a part of the body (other than the penis) into the vagina, the anus or urethra or mouth of a woman or makes her do so with him or any other person.
Introduction to any extent by a person of an object or a part of the body (other than the penis) into the vagina or anus or urethra of a child or makes her do so with him or any other person.
(d) Manipulating any part of the body of a child so as to cause penetration of the vagina (which term shall include labia majora) anus or the urethra of the offender by any part of the child’s body.
Punishment for rape provided under Section 376 of IPC
Whoever commits the rape will be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years. In case a person is a medical officer, public officer, police offer or a public servant might get imprisoned for at least 10 years if commits rape. The punishment can also extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
Top Landmark Judgments on Section 375 IPC
Let’s have a look at the top landmark judgments on the Section 375 IPC
1. Independent Thought Vs. Union of India
In the case, Independent Thought Vs. Union of India, The main issue taken up by the petitioner which is a registered society since 2009 and has been working for the protection of child rights is whether sexual intercourse between a man and his wife being a girl between 15 and 18 years of age is rape? They filed a writ petition for the same under Article 32 of the COI 1950 with a motive to bring the interest of the court towards the violation of the bodily rights of girl children all over the country who are married between 15 to 18 years of age.
The Court found in favour of the petitioner, holding that the marital rape exemption should only cover cases where the woman is 18 years or older and favoured to strike down the Exception 2 to section 375 of the IPC on the grounds that it is arbitrary, capricious, whimsical and violative of a girl child’s and clearly not fair, just and reasonable and hence stands in violation of Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the COI 1950. It was further held discriminatory and violative of Article 14 i.e. Right to Equality. It was also held to be inconsistent with the provisions of POCSO 2012 which must prevail.
The murder and rape incident of the 2012 Delhi gang-involved a rape and violent attack that happened on 16 December 2012. The incident occurred when a 23-year-old female was assaulted, gang-raped, and brutalised in a private bus that the girl and her male friend had boarded. Unfortunately, she died after two days of treatment. This incident created widespread worldwide attention.
In this case, the Supreme Court declared death penalty to four of the accused among six. The boy who was a juvenile was convicted by the Juvenile Justice Board. He was sent to the correctional home. The other one committed suicide before the judgment came out.
INDIA trends in one of the top countries when we take about the crime ratio against the women in the country. Everyday around 100 women become a victim of rape and suffers for the rest of her life. This needs to be stopped, not only by implementing new laws and judgements. The society needs to grow and the mental thinking towards our daughters should also be changed.
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