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A Brief Of Rape Law i.e. Section 376 Indian Panel Code

What is section 376 IPC?

Section 376 of Indian Penal Code elaborates the punishment for rape . The word "Rape" which is defined under section 375 Indian penal code . The punishment for committing rape in India .Under Indian penal code is rigorous imprisonment for ten years which may extend to Life Imprisonment. Indian Penal code section 376 Indian Penal code elaborates three sub-sections and five sub-parts.

Indian penal code section 376( 1 )mentions the punishment for rape.

Indian penal code section 376 (2) states that if the persons in authority commit rape, they will also be liable to the same punishment.

Indian penal code section 376 (3) states that if any person rapes a woman under the age of 16 years , he will be liable to be punished for twenty years, which may extend to Life Imprisonment. That other sub-sections of the sessions are discussed below:-

Is Section 376 IPC bailable or non-bailable?
The offence under section 376 Indian Panel Code is a non-bailable and cognisable offence, which means that the accused can't avail bail as a matter of right. The bail to the accused would be granted at the court's discretion.

Amendments to section 376 IPC

2013- Inserting of Section 376 A, 376 B, 376 C, 376 D, 376 E
376 A- if a person had committed the offence of rape under section 376 A Indian Panel code, which resulted in the death of the victim, or being in a vegetative state or injured, then accused shall be punished with imprisonment of 20 years, which may extend to Life imprisonment.

376 B- if a spouse is guilty of raping his wife after their separation, husband will be imprisoned for 2 to 7 years and a fine under the said code.

376 C - if an official in any authority commits rape, then the official will be punished with imprisonment of a minimum of 5 years, which may extend to 10 years and a fine or both.

376 D- this sub part explains the Punishment for gang rape is 20 years which may extend to Life Imprisonment.

376 E- this sub part explains Second convictions for rape will lead to Life Imprisonment.

2018- Insertion of Section 376AB, 376DA & 376DB

  1. The age of the victim decides the quantum of punishment for rape.
  2. The minimum punishment under Section 376 (1) has been changed from 7 years to 10 years which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to a fine or both.
  3. Under Section 376 (3) got inserted, which states that if the victim is under 16 years of age and has been raped, then the minimum punishment will be 20 years which may extend to Life Imprisonment.
  4. Section 376 AB has been added, which states that the punishment for raping a victim under 12 years of age will be 20 years minimum, which may extend to Life Imprisonment or Death Penalty.
  5. Section 376 DA states that the punishment for gang rape of a victim under 16 years of age will be Life imprisonment only for the remainder of that person's natural life, and with a fine or both, and that such fine must be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim, and that any fine imposed under this section shall be paid to the complainant/victim.
  6. The punishment under section 376 DB (Gang rape of a victim under 12 years of age) will be Life Imprisonment or the death penalty.

The abuse of Section 376 IPC

Due to the seriousness of the violations, the Delhi High Court declares that "False claims and allegations about incidents of molestation and rape ought to be dealt with with an iron fist. Such lawsuits are brought by unscrupulous litigants in the hopes that the other party will submit to their demands out of fear or shame. It would be difficult to stop such pointless lawsuits if wrongdoers were not made to bear the repercussions of their acts.

Recent Cases of 376 IPC

Hathras case:
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was gang raped by four males from the upper caste on September 14, 2020, in the Hathras district. After battling for two weeks in the hospital, she passed away. The victim's parents asserted that they were not given permission for the cremation. The accused was detained by the police. Under Section 376 of the IPC, he was accused.

Dr Priyanka Reddy case - it is a land mark judgement of 2019 where a 26 yr old lady was gang raped and brutally murdered by 4 men.

Landmark Judgments on Section 376 IPC
Shakti Mills case: The Bombay High Court ruled in favour of the legality of Section 376E of the Indian Penal Code, which permits the imposition of a life sentence or the death penalty upon a second conviction for rape, in the Shakthi Mills Case, last month.

Vishakha v state of Rajasthan: When a social worker attempted to prevent child marriage, she claimed that she was gang raped. Due to this incident, the POSH Act 2013 was passed. Additionally, a number of guidelines were put forth to support the act's execution.

Mukesh & Anr. Vs. State for NCT of Delhi & Ors. (The Nirbhaya Case) - On a bus that was in motion, the woman was gang raped by five guys, one of whom was a juvenile. The kid was sent to a rehabilitation facility while the four adults received death sentences. The 2013 criminal law amendment was brought forth by this incident.

Many cases go unreported because victims fear social stigma. Everywhere, from police stations to courts, victims are victims of harassment. Each stage in the victims' fight for justice, from the failing health system to the criminal justice system, adds to their anguish. Our society contributes significantly to creating obstacles to achieving justice. So until change comes from within society with legal reforms, the full impact of the law will never be clearly felt. Written By: Jasdeep Kaur Advocate is registered Research Scholar law (Ph.D) at Amity University currently working with govt of Delhi NCT as an Advocate She has worked as Law officer Women and Child Dept Govt of Delhi Nct Ex panel lawyer govt of Delhi nct She did her schooling from Ghps Vasant Vihar New Delhi Jasdeep kaur Graduated in BA English Hons from Mata Sundri college of Women University of Delhi (regu lar) She did her LLm ( Uslls Ip university Delhi Dwarka) Regular
Email [email protected], Ph no: 9821378225

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