This article on rape mainly focused on how rape culture has been involved with women and child victims in India. Rape is violent, and many victims have suffered. This article gives a clear understanding of how rape has affected the victims and their lives. Types of rape and which affected society. It gives a summary of the landmark Nirbhaya case, which marked a turning point in amending the new law on sexual violence. It discusses the detailed reforms made by the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1983, 2013, and 2018. The analysis judgments highlight the approach made by the court, which acts as an impediment for women seeking justice after progressive reforms. It concludes with suggestions for change on a social and cultural level.


Rape is a terrifying word in and of itself. In India, it is one of the four most common criminal activities. It involves sexual intercourse or a different structure of sexual infiltration carried out with a person without their consent. Its origin came from English common law, and it was in 1860 when the anti-rape law was mentioned in the Indian penal code of 1908. According to the report, many rape cases are registered across the country. It is a violation of Article 21 of our constitution.

Definition of rape:

It is derived from the Latin word “Rapere,” meaning to take by force. According to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, if a man said to commit “rape” and had sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances like:

  1. against her will
  2. Without her consent
  3. Consent, when her consent is obtained out of fear of death or hurt.
  4. With or without consent, when she is under sixteen years of age

Section 375 and clauses:

A man is said to commit rape if he:

  1. He penetrates his penis into a woman’s vagina or forces her to do so with him.
  2. Insert any object or portion of the body other than the penis (commonly, it is digital rape).
  3. Any clauses mentioned in the definition.

Rape at an early age:

It is used as a weapon of war. In wartime, soldiers have occurred throughout history. Even during the times of World War II, rape has been committed. Women belonging to some groups were intentionally impregnated through rape by enemy soldiers.

In the late 20th century, rape was recognized as a weapon and strategy of war, and efforts were made to prosecute acts under existing international law.

In 1993, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, replaced by the UN Human Rights Council in 2006, declared rape and military sexual slavery to be crimes against humanity and should be punished for violating women’s human rights. In 1995, the UN Fourth World Conference on Women specified that rape by armed force during war is a war crime.

Types of rape:

There are many types of rape. Let us discuss in detail:

  • Aggravated rape:

This happens because someone has authority or control over the victim because of their legal status (police officer, public servant).

Rape by someone in trust (relatives, guardians, hospital staff)

Punishment will be rigorous, and imprisonment is between 10 years and life with a fine.

  • Gang rape:

If women were sexually assaulted or raped at the same time by a group of people, Punishment will be rigorous, and imprisonment is 20 years of lifetime punishment.

  • Partner rape:

It is known as marital rape; it is a type of rape involving a person’s partner. There are three types of partner’s rape.

Battering rape: both physical and sexual violence

Force-only rape involves the imposition of power.

Obsessive rape involves torture and sexual acts.

  • Repeat offender:

Section 376E of the IPC allows a death sentence for a person convicted of rape a second time.

  • Other kinds of rape:

There are many types as well; it is critical that whatever form of rape occurs.

Reason for the increase in rape cases in India:

  1. There are fewer female police officers. Where a woman is being raped, she is likely to report the case to a female police officer. History speaks that New Delhi has just 7% females.
  2. No public safety—women who drink, smoke, or go late—nightclubbing is the reason for being raped.
  3. Indian society sees domestic violence as deserving. UNICEF, one of report found that 57% of Indian boys and 53% of girl think beating of wife.

Sexual violence and its long-term effects on victims:

  • 94% of women who are raped can have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder during the two weeks following the rape.
  • 30% of women have symptoms of PTSD nine months after rape.
  • 33% of women committed suicide because of rape.
  • 13% of women attempted suicide and got raped.

People who have been sexually assaulted are likely to use drugs. It also affects family relations, friends, and co-workers. Pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses are risks for victims.

Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act 2012:

The Ministry of Women and Child Development introduced the POCSO Act in 2012. This was enacted to protect children from sexual harassment. The Act also amended in 2019 to enhance punishment for various offenses to ensure the security and safety of children.

Rights of victims:

  • A person who is a victim can file an FIR at any police station, irrespective of jurisdiction.
  • Medical treatment should be provided under §375C of the criminal procedure; no private or government hospital can charge fees for treatment. If any hospital demands a fee, it should be punished under Section 166B of the Indian Penal Code 1908 for up to 1 year and shall be liable for a fine and both.
  • No doctor has the right to do two finger tests during a medical examination. According to Section 164A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, it tells us how a report is made and what things are written.
  • The victim should be compensated under Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • According to Section 154(1) of the CrPC, a statement shall be recorded by a female police officer. Magistrate record statement under Section 164(5A): lady officer will take victim to magistrate. If the victim has an unsound mind or any other conditions, then the educator’s social interpretation will be present at that time to understand.

Preventive measures for rape:

  • Giving the cops all the information they require. 
  • Create awareness about good touch and bad touch.
  • Conducting sessions and programs to give safety measures to everyone.

Exception to rape:

  1. Rape does not include medical procedures or interventions.
  2. Sexual intercourse or sexual act by man with his own wife not under eighteen years of age is not rape.

Is Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, gender neutral?

It is not gender-neutral; it does not cover sexual abuse of minor males. The penalty under the Protection of Children for Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act of 2012 remains 10 years to life imprisonment for offenses against boys of age 12 and seven years to life imprisonment against boys between the ages of 12 and 18.

Modified law in CrPC:

The law was modified in the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 to reduce the time to complete an investigation from three to two months. Anticipatory bail is prohibited in cases of rape of girls under the age of sixteen. Any appeal made against rape must be resolved within six months.

Supreme Court guidelines:

  1. Legal representation should be offered to the complainant in a sexual assault case. It ensures continuity of support by the same individual who represented the complainant’s interests at the police station.
  2. As a victim of sexual assault may be distressed when she arrives at the police station, legal assistance is required.
  3. Before any questions are made to the victim, the police should explain her rights, like her right to representation. The police should record what she has said.
  4. In all rape trials, victim confidentiality must be preserved.
  5. For victims who have no lawyer or counsel available, a list of advocates should be kept at the police station.
  6. Criminal injuries compensation board in accordance with the directive principles established in Article 38(1) of the Indian Constitution, who suffered financial loss.
  7. The court provides compensation to the victim if the criminal is convicted, and the compensation board will award compensation whether the offender is convicted. The board considers pain and suffering.

Landmark judgment on rape:

Tukaram and Anr.v. State of Maharashtra (1978): In this case, an 18-year-old orphan girl was called to the police station on an abduction report filed by her brother. She kept being late. She was forcibly taken to the toilet, raped by constable Ganpat, and molested by Tukaram. They have locked the door from inside. It is called consensual sex. The decision challenged the Bombay High Court, which reversed the decision between consent and passive submission and claimed there was no consent or mere passive submission, therefore they are liable. In the Supreme Court, they were acquainted with their charges and claimed there were no marks, and it was a peaceful affair. The decision of the Supreme Court was heavily criticized after a judgment in inquiry held that marks of the victim body are not important.

Recently, the case that shook the whole country was the Nirbhaya case. Four decades ago, the case that shook was the Mathura rape case. A modification to the penal code was passed in order to reverse the judgment’s effects. Legal changes

  • Modifications made to Indian Penal Code Section 376.
  • The custodial frappe provision under Section 376(2) is amended.
  • Punishment is prescribed for a term not less than 10 years.
  • Section 228A of the Indian penal code was amended not to reveal victim identity.

Related case law:

Disha case: a veterinary doctor aged about 26 years went out to meet for professional work with some person by returning her bike, which got troubled, then she waited for repair while she was waiting near the toll plaza. She was alone and afraid, so she called her sister during that time. One person came as a mechanic and took her bike for repair. After a long time, she got out of the toll plaza, and four people trapped her and raped her. They took her to the hospital and burned her body with gasoline. This took place around 1-2 AM. The commissioner finding released by the Supreme Court bench by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Hima Kohli on May 20 found that four accused were deliberately fired with the intention of killing them during a police encounter. All the accused were gunned down under a bridge on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru highway.

Loopholes in Section 375:

Sections 375 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, come with drawbacks, as the law has failed to reduce the growing number of rape cases in the developing land of India.


India is a country where women enjoy high social status, but women are not treated well nowadays. There are a number of cases that are not reported because of the fear of being humiliated in society. The society in which we live plays a vital role in changing circumstances. A safe society is one that is rape-free. We must change our mindset and make our society more female-friendly. Rapists should be punished so that crime will not take place again. So, that we can have a safe environment for women and make a better society.

Author(s) Name: Avidi Vineela

(Sri Padmavati Mahila Viswa Vidyalayam, Tirupati.)

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