Offences against women and children 

Offences against women and children 

Author– Smruthi.A.Y, a Student of Ramaiah College of Law


This research paper deals with the topic regarding the offences against women and children in India and landmark case laws. Crimes against women and children involves the struggles they are facing daily and the insecurities they are facing in the society. This paper deals with the laws made to protect women and children in the country and the pros and cons of the laws and the punishments to the crimes. This paper also deals with the important judgements which changed the whole perception of the society. 


There are a lot of crimes going on in the country. But the most common crime is the crimes against the women and children. There are a lot of people who feel the country is not safe for women and children. Because women face a lot of issues where they feel they cannot go out at night. Parents are scared to send their children out to play in the fear that they might get kidnapped or might get into harm and they also believe that it is not safe for them.

Crimes against women include: 

  • Acid Attack (section 326A and 326B) 
  • Rape (section 375, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D and 376E) 
  • kidnapping and abduction for different purposes (sections 363-373)
  • Murder, Dowry death, Abetment of suicide (section 302, 304B and 306)  
  • cruelty by husband or his relatives (section 498A)
  • outraging the modesty of women (section 354)
  • sexual harassment (section 354A) 
  • Assault on women with the intent to disrobe a women (section 354B)
  • Voyeurism (section 354C)
  • Stalking (section 354D) 
  • Importation of girls upto 21 years of age (section 366B)
  • Eve teasing 
  • Sexual harassment at workplace 

Crimes against children includes:

  • Abetment of suicide (section 305)
  • Kidnapping and Abduction (sections 359-369)
  • Procuration of minor girls (section 366A)
  • Offences against new born and unborn children (sections 312-318) i.e., causing of injuries, miscarriages to the unborn babies, concealment of births, abortion.   
  • Cruelty
  • Employment of child for begging 
  • Intoxicating a child

The offences listed above has punishments under the Indian Penal Code 1860 the punishments include life imprisonment, imprisonment for 2 years and may extend to 8 years also, fine, and death penalty. 

Historical Context:

In the early years many crimes were not considered as a crime by the society such as Marital Rape was not considered as a crime because they assumed that there was consent from both the parties. In the year 2005 domestic violence act was introduced which identified marital rape as an offence. Crimes like Eve Teasing and sexual crimes against Children was considered as a crime in India gradually.

Legal Framework:

Many acts and laws were made to protect women and children so that they can live in the society without any fear.

In the year 2005 Protection of women from domestic Violence Act came into existence which was introduced to protect women from the violence they were facing in their houses such as hurt, injury, danger to their life and the threats to them from her husband or from their husband’s relatives.

In the year 2013 Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act (PoSH Act) was introduced to protect women from sexual harassment against women at workplace. In the landmark case of Vishaka V State of Rajasthan, the Supreme Court laid down few rules which had to followed by the offices which was for the safety of women in their workplace.

In the year 2012 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO Act) came into existence to protect children from the sexual offences such as child is sexually harassed which impacts the child’s mind and in these cases the parents do not file the complaint because most of the times the harasser will be the person which they know. This act helped the children who were mentally and sexually harassed. The act also laid few rules such as the child’s identity to be kept secret, it should be a gender-neutral act which does not discriminate regarding the gender of the victim and if the offence is committed it should be reported. This act was amended in 2019 which told child pornography is also a crime and will be punished. 

Case Laws:

  1. Mukesh and ors V State of NCT of Delhi and ors (Nirbhaya Case):                                                                                     A 23-year-old student and her male friend were returning from a movie and boarded the bus. The accused who was the bus driver and his 5 friends who were drunk brutally raped and beat them and threw them out of the moving bus. The student died due to the injuries. The Supreme Court gave death sentence to the 5 men and sent the minor to juvenile jail.
  1. Vishaka and ors V State of Rajasthan and ors: Bhanwari Devi who was working under Women’s Development project (WDP) was brutally gang raped by 5 men at her work place. The Supreme Court formulated guidelines and made it mandatory for both public and private sectors.
  1. Bachni Devi V State of Haryana:                             Kanta Devi was married in 1990 and after two months of marriage the mother-in-law demanded motorcycle for her son. Kanta’s father who was poor could not afford it. So, the husband and his mother tortured her and killed her. The trial court held mother-in-law and husband guilty and was given 7 years rigorous imprisonment. 
  1. State of Maharashtra v. Flora Santuno Kutino:         The respondent, who had illicit relations with a lady and pregnated her, was instrumental in causing miscarriage, and hence, was convicted by the supreme court since such miscarriage was caused, not in straightness, but to wipe off his illicit relationship.
  1. Jarnail Singh v. State of Haryana:                               The appellant was accused of kidnapping and raping the daughter of Savitri Devi while she was sleeping. The Supreme Court of India convicted the appellant.


Even though many laws and acts are introduced the crimes against women and children are still taking place. But compared to the olden days the crimes have decreased to a certain percentage. The women and children also have laws to protect them from the crimes.

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