Rape Laws in India

By Team Legal Helpline India, December 25, 2014

IMPORTANT: A brief outline of the Rape laws in India by our experts.

Being a Law Firm Delhi, we provide all legal services under one roof. For any urgent requirements of our services, call our board No. 9-11-2335 5388 or mail us through contact us page of our website.

SHORT DISCUSSION ON RAPE LAWS IN INDIA

Rape laws in India are contained in The Indian Penal Code of 1860 which mainly deals with the definition of rape and the punishment for committing rape. The said definition of Rape laws in India alsodescribes various circumstances under which rape can happen. The said provisions of The Indian Penal Code can not be seen in isolation as there are other provisions contained in the Indian laws which determine the Rape laws in India.

The definition of rape under the Rape Laws in India is contained in Section 375 of The Indian Penal Code which specifically defines the term rape under the rape laws in India. The term rape has been the subject matter of several judicial pronouncements and has undergone several changes due to the judicial pronouncements defining the circumstances which lead to rape.

Rape laws in India has also been a matter of great debate in the recent past due to several incidents of rapes in Delhi and other parts of the country. There was much hue and cry for amendments in the rape laws in India hence the government has considered the said aspect and has come out with new set of rape laws in India detailing various circumstances under which rape incidents can be dealt with.

The law makers for Rape laws in India have considered various aspects related to the curbing of the offence of rape and have made corresponding provisions in The Indian Evidence Act, 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The joint reading of the said sections specifically define the terms rape, the punishment for rape and the manner in which the rape cases should be handled by the police and the process which the court may adopt while trying the rape case under the rape laws in India.The rape laws in India has undergone tremendous changes due to various judicial pronouncements and the corresponding provisions as contained under The Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act and The Code of Criminal Procedure have also undergone tremendous change through time. Rape laws in India as contained in The Indian Penal Code, 1860 is reproduced here under which would give an insight to the readers about the comprehensive manner in which the rape laws in India have been handled by the law makers.

Rape laws in India have now undergone tremendous changes and transformation and have more stringent powers from the previous days. The rape laws in India have been amended to accommodate the contemporary social changes and the transformation in the society. An extension of the rape laws in India are the laws relating to the sexual harassment at workplace which are also crime against the women in the Indian laws.

Section 375 IPC

Rape- A man is said to commit rape who, except in the case hereinafter expected, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances failing under any of the six following descriptions:
First: Against her will.
Secondly: Without her consent.
Thirdly: With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married
Fifthly: With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
Sixthly: With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.
Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of rape.
Exception: Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.

Section 376 of IPC

Punishment for rape-

Whoever, except in the cases provided for by sub- section(2), commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine unless the women reaped is his own wife and is not under twelve years of age, in which cases, he shall be punished with imprisonment or either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.

Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence or imprisonment for a term of less than seven years.

Whoever

  • Being a police officer commits rape-
    • Within the limits of police station to which he is appointed. Or
    • In the premises of any station house whether or not situated in the police station to which he is appointed. Or
    • On a woman in his custody or in the custody of a police officer subordinate to him; or
  • Being a public servant, take advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in his custody as such public servant or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to him ; or
  • Being on the management or on the staff of a hospital, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in that hospital; or
  • Commits rape on a woman knowing her to be pregnant; or
  • Commits rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age; or
  • Commits gang rape,

shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may be for life and shall also be liable to fine;
Provide that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of either description for a term of less than ten years.

Explanation 1.

Where a woman is raped by one or more in a group of persons acting in furtherance of their common intention each of the persons shall be deemed to have committed gang rape within the meaning of this sub-section.

Explanation 2.

Womens or children’s institution means an institution, whether called an orphanage or a home for neglected woman or children or a widows home or by any other name, which is established and maintained for the reception and care of woman or children.

Explanation 3.

Hospital? means the precincts of the hospital and includes the precincts of any institution for the reception and treatment of persons requiring medical attention or rehabilitation.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE

Para I: Punishment Imprisonment for life or imprisonment for ten years and fine cognizable Non Bailable Triable by Court of Session Non Compoundable.
Para II: PunishmentImprisonment for two years or fine or both-non- Cognizable Bailable Triable by Court of Session Non Compoundable.
376A. Intercourse by a man with his wife during separation – Whoever has sexual intercourse with his own wife, who is living separately from him under a decree of separation or under any custom or usage without her consent shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE

Punishment Imprisonment for two years and fine Non cognizable Bailable Triable by Court of Session ?Non Compoundable.
376B. Intercourse by public servant with woman in his custody Whoever, being a public servant, takes advantage of his officials position and induces or seduces, any woman, who is in his custody as such public servant or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to him, to have sexual intercourse with him, 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 shall also be liable to fine.
CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment Imprisonment for five years and fine ?Cognizable (but no arrest shall be made without a warrant or without an order of a Magistrate) Bailable Triable by Court of Session Non Compoundable.
376C – Intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home etc. – Whoever, being the superintendent or manager of a jail, remand home or other place of custody established by or under any law for the time being in force or of a womans or childrens institution takes advantage of his officials position and induces or seduces any female inmate of such jail, remand home, place or institution to have sexual intercourse with him, 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 shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation 1

Superintendent in relation to jail, remand home or other place of custody or a women’s or children’s institution includes a person holding any other office in such jail, remand home, place of institution by virtue of which he can exercise any authority or control over its inmates.

Explanation 2

The expression women’s or children’s institution shall have the same meaning as in Explanation 2 to sub-section(2) of Section 376.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment Imprisonment for five years and cognizable (but no arrest shall be made without a warrant or without an order of a Magistrate) Bailable Triable by Court of Session Non- compoundable.
376 D. Intercourse by any member of the management or staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital. – Whoever, being on the management of a hospital or being on the staff of a hospital takes advantage of his position and has sexual intercourse with any woman in that hospital, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may be extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation

The expression hospital shall have the same meaning as in Explanation 3 to sub-section (2) of section 376.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment imprisonment for five years and fine Cognizable (but no arrest shall be made without a warrant or without an order of a Magistrate) Bailable Triable by Court of Session = Non-compoundable.

NOTE: As a Law Firm Delhi, we provide all legal services under one roof. For any urgent requirements of our services, call our board No. 9-11-2335 5388 or mail us through contact us page of our website.

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