Rape cases judgement in INDIA
The rape law under IPC had gone through a lot of amendments, some of which are :
- In 1983, amendment was made and S. 376(2) i.e. Custodial rape, S. 376(A) i.e. rape by husband and S. 376(B to D) i.e. *Sexual Intercourse not amounting to rape* were added to the definition of rape.
- U/s 114-A of Indian Evidence Act, presumption can be made as to the absence of consent in certain prosecutions for rape.
- U/s 327(2) of Code of Criminal Procedure, there should be in camera trial for all rape victims.
- U/s Section 375, “both penile and non-penile insertion into bodily orifices of a woman by a man an offence”. It also clarified that penetration means “penetration to any extent”, and lack of physical resistance is immaterial for offence.
- In aggravated situations, punishment will be imprisonment for a term not less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine
- If rapist inflicts an injury which causes the death of the person or causes the victim to be in *persistent vegetative state*, he shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years or with DEATH PENALTY.
- In case of “gang rape”, persons involved regardless of their gender shall be punished with a term not less than twenty years, but which may extend to life and shall pay compensation to the victim which shall be reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim.
- The age of consent has been increased to 18 years, which means any sexual activity irrespective of presence of consent with a woman below the age of 18 will constitute statutory rape.
Another important issue,but not widely discussed is sex between ‘unwilling wife’ and husband. *rape by husband* is still not accepted as a criminal offense within Indian legal framework, except during the period of judicial separation of the partners. The government officials argue that the contract of marriage presumes consent to sex and that criminalizing this in turn would weaken family values in India.But,these rape victims shall take refuge u/s 498-A of the IPC or The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.
Above all,let us first introspect our perception towards gender equality,Women and self correct if needed.The Strict enforcement of the law is another hurdle for women protection.Emotional outburst and protests alone wont translate into punishment for rapists.Legal remedy and harsher punishment along with speedy trials through Indian Constitution is the only way to stop rape and crime against women.Let us all move towards that goal of *Protection for Women* and *Gender Equality*.