The term “Rape” in a laymen language can be defined as ravaging or
devouring women. It is derived from the term “Rapere” which translates as
“sexually violate”. In India rape is a widespread crime and is the fourth
most common crime against women. In our country women constitute an important
segment of the society and she is the metaphor of goddesses according to Indian
beliefs, she plays the role of mother, wife, daughter, sister at the same time
even though she is not at par with men.
Every religion respect woman and condemns a crime like rape. In Islamic religion
rape is termed as “Zina-bil-Ikrah”, an act of rape is not only a legal
defined offence but it has many consequences which are not only limited to any
physical harm or injury, but the mental trauma which last for very long. Rape
should not only be construed as crime committed by any perpetrator or third
person, but a husband who assassinates the dignity of his wife by committing any
kind of sexual act against her will constitutes offence commonly known as “Marital
Rape” which is as cruel as murder because it imposes a stigma on a women
with which she is destined to suffer till her last breath.
The criminal justice system of our country makes the heinous crime of rape
punishable under section 375 and 376 of Indian Penal Code ,1860. Although the
punishment for rape is not capital in India because there are many loopholes in
the law with the help of which an accused escape the rigours of law and not
brought to justice. In only rarest of rare cases death sentence for rape can be
awarded. The question we need to ask our self is when the women of our country
be able to roam freely without any fear? Key Words- Rape, women, sex, assault,
Types Of Rape:Rape can be broadly classified into two types:
Blitz Rape: it is a spontaneous encounter between the offender and the victim, where the
offender approaches uninvited and forces himself over his victim and his
identity remains unknown throughout the incident.
Confidence Rape: the offender commits rape by deception or betraying the victim or under
other false pretences and there is some prior interaction between the
assailant and the victim.
Major Rape Incidents in India:
Mathura Rape Case: Tuka Ram and Anr. V. State of Maharashtra
In 1972, Mathura a young tribal girl of 14 to 16 years age lived in a small
village called Desaiganj, Maharashtra with her brother Gama. Both Mathura and
Gama were labourers and Mathura alone used to go to the house of a woman named
Nunshi. Nunshi's nephew Ashok also lived in the same house and after some time
Ashok and Mathura fell in love with each other and decided to marry each other,
however, Gama disapproved their relationship and on March 26 1972 he lodged a
report at Desaiganj police station that Nunshi and Ashok had kidnapped Mathura.
Nunshi, Ashok, Gama & Mathura were bought to the police station at 9 pm and the
statements of the lovers were recorded at around 10.30 pm when they were about
to exit police station, constable Ganpat and Tukaram asked Mathura to stay back
and asked Gama, Nunshi and Ashok to leave and wait outside.
The constable Ganpat locked the door turned off the lights and raped Mathura.
Constable Tukaram also tried to rape her but was too drunkard. After a while
Gama, Nunshi and Ashok sensed something wrong instinctively and called out
Mathura's name but they heard no response from her. Finally, when the deed was
done the constables had fled and Mathura emerged from the police station and the
crowd had emerged. After knowing full truth of the matter, the crowd threatened
to burn down the police station unless the head constable files a FIR. Then at
the sessions trail the judge acquitted both the constables.
The Bombay high court however, reversed the sessions court judgement and
convicted the constables. It noted the difference between the consent and
passive submission observing that- “mere passive or helpless surrender and it's
resignation to the other's lust induced by threat or fear cannot be equated with
desire or will.” But on appeal the Supreme Court reversed the high court's
decision and acquitted both the constables.
The Supreme Court concluded that her allegations against the two constables were
completely dishonest because there was no injury on her, she did not scream and
whole incident according to Supreme Court was fanciful. After the Mathura rape
case section 228A (Disclosure of identity of the victim of certain offences,
etc) was inserted with the object to shelter the rape victim from social stigma.
Nirbhaya's Rape case State v. Ram Singh and others
On the night of 16 December 2012 Nirbhaya and her friend was returning after
watching a movie and boarded a bus in which the rape took place which was
committed by six offenders, out of which one was juvenile. They seek to satisfy
their unnatural lust and sadistic desires so they raped her and left her to die
but somehow, she survives and was taken to Singapore for treatment but
unfortunately, she died. The very next day there was a mass protest in form of
candle light parade and solidarity movements.
The police identify four accused Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay Sharma and
Pawan Gupta. They were presented to fast track court and charges were framed
against them and the driver Ram Singh committed suicide in Tihar jail Delhi by
hanging himself. They were charged with thirteen offences including gang rape
and murder. The juvenile was held guilty and send to probation home for three
years. On 13th September the four convicts were given death sentence by the
trail court. On 23rd September the Delhi High Court began hearing the case and
upheld the decision of Court of Session.
The High Court stated that this case was Rarest of Rare
and held that:
“the offence in the present case is committed in a very cruel manner and the
manner of commission of offence is an exceptional one. Further, time, place and
manner of execution of crime speak volumes about the severity of offence. Hence,
High court upheld the decision of lower court and appeals of accused were
The case went to Supreme Court Definition of rape before Nirbhaya's case:
Until 2012 the definition of rape was restricted only to non-voluntary sexual
intercourse.And as per section 375 only a man can commit rape only on women.
Definition of rape after Nirbhaya's case:
As a result of Nirbhaya's case, the Criminal law Amendment Act 2013 widens
the scope of offence of rape and included:
Any involuntary and forceful penetration without the women's consent into
women's body parts like vagina, urethra, mouth or anus.
Justice Verma committee report:
After the unfaithful Nirbhaya rape case a Justice Verma Committee was formed in
order to suggest changes in criminal law especially with respect to women's
Recommendations of the committee were related to:
Women's issues Sexual offences Human trafficking
The report contain the following points:
Rape will include any non-consensual penetration of sexual nature It was
recommended to criminalise marital rape but no action was taken on it. The
committee advised for setting up a rape crises cell for legal aid of the rape
victims. Controversy around the name Nirbhaya Instead of the name of victim the
” was used because section 228A of India Penal Code,1860
prohibits any person to print or publish the identity of the victim in a rape
A person who contravenes the provisions of this section may be imprisoned up to
two years along with fine. Section 228A(2)(c) of the IPC, 1860 provides for an
exception to clause one stating that the name of the victim can be made public
in case of death of the victim with the permission of the next of kin of the
victim. In the present case victim's mother Asha Devi herself made Nirbhaya's
name known to public stating that no rape victim should be ashamed as it is the
perpetrator at fault nor the victim.
Supreme Court in May 2017 upheld the death penalty of the convicts. The
judgement was passed by Justice Deepak Mishra, R. Bhanumati and Ashok Bhushan
unanimously. The bench held the attitude of the offenders as “bestial
and said “it sounds like a story from a different world where
humanity is treated with irreverence
”. The case moved to the Hon'ble Supreme
Court which further upheld the conviction of the accused and sentenced them to
The convicts filed mercy petition with the President but the same was rejected
and the convicts were at last hanged on 21st March 2020 at 5.30 A.M.
Unnao Rape Case Kuldeep Singh Sengar v. State of U.P & Another, 2019
The victim went missing from 4th June to 11th June her parents lodged then FIR.
She was subjected to multiples rapes. When she returned she was warned by police
to not accused BJP politician Kuldeep Sengar. On 3rd July victim went to Delhi
to live with her uncle. The victim wrote a letter to C.M of U.P Yogi Aditya
In April 2108 the victim was forced to be hostile, on 3rd April 2018 the father
of the victim was beaten by Atul Singh Sengar in presence of police, on 8th
April victim tried to immolate herself in front of Yogi Aditya Nath house
stating that police have not done anything. on 9th April father of the victim
died due to injuries in fourteen places as per the post-mortem report. On 10th
April Atul with four other persons were arrested on the charge under section
304, 323 and 504 of IPC,1860. On 11th April the victim appealed to Rajiv
Krishnan the additional DGP of Lucknow.
The case was then transferred to CBI and on 7th July 2018 CBI admitted first
charge sheet with the name of five persons including Atul Sengar. The charges
were that they have murdered the father of the victim. On 11th July another
charge sheet was filled in which five more persons were accused including the
brother of MLA Jaideep Singh on charge of murder of the victim's father.
On 13th July third charge sheet was filled which mentioned the name of three
policemen along with Kuldeep Singh Sengar. Kuldeep Sengar was an influential
person can be seen from the fact that he was send to Sitapur prison which was
120 km away from Unnao, and he got the uncle of the victim arrested on a charge
of air firing eighteen years ago and he was imprisoned in Raibarali jail for ten
years on 4th July 2019.
On 28th July 2019 the rape victim, her lawyer and got seriously injured and two
of her aunts died when they were going to meet the victim's uncle in Raibarali
jail due to a collusion with a truck. On 29th july2019 a new FIR was lodged
against Kuldeep Singh Sengar and twenty-nine others. The truck's number plate
was covered in Greece. The accused truck was taken on a loan and therefore
Greece was applied to avoid the loan for some time.
Police stated that it is prima facie an accident but no one else believed so.
The court ordered two constable and a gunner will be with her but the police
state that victim refused to take them along as there was no space in the car
when they were going to meet their uncle. A man wearing raincoat was seen before
the accident and he vanished into thin air after the occurrence of the accident.
Tishazara Court on 13th March 2020 sentenced former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar
and six others to 10-year imprisonment for their role in the death of Unnao Rape
victim's father and the order was passed by Justice Dharmesh Singh who direct
Atul Singh Sengar& Kuldeep Singh Sengar to give 10 lakhs each to the victim's
Section 376 (2) of IPC deals with the offence of rape committed by a public
servant who "takes 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
". On this charge being proved, The court
sentenced BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar to life imprisonment for his "remaining
" for raping a woman in Unnao in 2017.
The Judge Dharmesh Sharma along with imprisonment imposed fine of Rs 25 lakh on,
making it clear that in case of non-payment, Uttar Pradesh government will have
to pay the find from the state funds as per the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Kathua rape case Mohd. Akhtar v. The State of Jammu and Kashmir, 2018
Asif was eight years old minor who resided in Jammu Kashmir's Heeranagar village
near Rasana village. She went missing on 10th January 2018 after seven days her
dead body was found. The post-mortem report disclosed that she was kidnaped and
gangraped and there were many injuries on her person, and she was drugged. The
accused were arrested and the case was transferred to Crime branch which filled
a chargesheet on the basis of two months investigation.
The leader of the group was said to be Sanjhi Ram a retired revenue official,
his son Vishal a B.S.C agriculture student, his nephew a juvenile and Parvesh
Verma an acquaintance of Sanjhi Ram and two police officers Deepak khujaria and
Surrender Kumar. The intention of Sanjhi Ram was to spread terror amongst
Bakarwal's community. Sanjhi Ram bribed head constable Tilak Raj and sub
inspector Anand Dutta for destroying the evidence.
After the investigation it was discovered that the nephew of Sanjhi Ram enticed
the victim to Devi Sthan and confined her there for seven days in intoxicated
state in a store room. she was subjected to rape multiple times and was beaten
to death. In march 2018 the accused were arrested. The three main convicts were
sentence to life imprisonment while the three including cops were sentenced to
five years in prison each and the seventh accused was acquitted (Vishal Jangotra).
Priyanka Reddy Rape Case G.S Mani and Another v. Union of India and others,
On 27th November 2019 Priyanka Reddy was riding her scooter and on the way her
tyre got flat, and she was stranded on a deserted place with no public, so she
was scared and called her sister after a while to her horror the phone got
disconnected. It was around that time the four accused persons approached her
with an excuse to help her but instead they raped her and burnt her alive on the
outskirts of Shadnagar in Telangana's Rnga Reddy's District. This incident took
place over a period of eight hours.
After the whole crime when the victim was not found for two days the victim
sisters went to police station but they refuse to file the complaint stating
that it was not their jurisdiction. But subsequently four accused were arrested
by the Hyderabad police namely Mohammad Ali Alias Mohammad Arif, Jollu Shiva,
Jollu Naveen Kumar, and ChintakuntaChenna Keshavullu. All these four accused
were killed in an alleged encounter with police.
The police commissioner V.C Sajjanar said that the accused were taken to crime
scene by the police as a part of investigation where they ceased the arms of the
police officer and fired upon them and the police officers retaliated in self-defence,
two of their policemen were also injured and the case is now under trail.
Criminal Law Amendment After the Nirbhaya Case the definition of section 375 has
been substituted with the older definition and section 376 has been amended as
The amendment was done in two ways- By amending existing sections By introducing
new sections By the Amendment Act of 2018 minimum punishment for rape has been
increased from 7 years to 10 years. This Act also inserted new criminal
offences- Section 376AB-(9) of this section deals with the cases of rape of
minor under 12 years of age.
The minimum punishment under this section is 20 years which may extend to life
imprisonment i.e. remainder of a person's life or also death sentence can be
given. Section 376 DA-(10) of this section deals with the offence of gang rape
of women under the 16 years of age. It prescribes a minimum sentence of life
imprisonment Section 376 DB-(11)of this section deals with the offence of gang
rape of women under the 12 years of age. It prescribes a minimum sentence of
life imprisonment i.e.- remainder of a person's life Section 114A has been
substituted by Amendment Act 2013.
This Amendment Act also provides for compensation to the victims. Any fine
imposed on the convict by the court shall be given to the victim and it shall be
sufficient to meet the necessary medical expenses and rehabilitation costs of
Reasons of Commission of Rape Lifestyle:
It is a common notion that a woman's dress or makeup also provokes the offender
to commit rape, but it is a lame reason because women in sarees, and bourkas are
also raped and minor girls without any makeup are no exception to this heinous
crime. The women's consent is taken implied if she has a liberal lifestyle. A
legislator suggested banning skirts in private schools as it promotes the crime
Less number of female constables:
Shortage of the female police officers leads to less reporting of rape cases by
the victims. As in the Mathura's case the male police officer raped Mathura on
the excuse of taking her statement.
Sever punishment in cases of rape is given in rarest of rare circumstances which
is very difficult to prove.
Most of the offenders are relatives, friends, acquaintances, neighbours, or
employers whoare known to the offender that makes it less likely that a victim
will complaint against the people she knows. She is discouraged to file a
complaint even by her dear ones like her parents. Political Power-Influential
people tend to supress any voice which is raised against them using political
influence which results in denial of reporting of cases.
Poor Safety Measures:
Lack of sufficient facilities like street lights and cctv cameras tempts the
criminals to rape without any fear. In case of Priyanka Reddy's rape case
there was no street lights or cameras, if it had been so the incident could be
There is also a social stigma attached to a victim and she is looked down upon
by the society as a result of which the victim is discouraged to file a report
to the police. Bail Granted- Although Rape is a non bailable offence but the
accused can get bail due lack of evidence. Less Convictions- a very few rape
cases are reported and out of those even a very few leads to conviction and the
rest of the offenders are released on the basis of lack of evidence.
another factor contributing towards rape is the social setup of India which
shows men as dominant and a woman's consent is never considered. This stereotype
exists because people are uneducated and they are bought up in an environment
where males are given more importance than females. All the aforesaid points are
the reason that there is no fear in the mind of the offender and he commits rape
indiscriminately. Measures to Cure Recruitment of more females India is a male
dominated country and there isa greater number of males as compared to females
in every field.
The lack of female officers discourages the rape victims to file a complaint.
Hence, it is the need of hour to recruit more female officers so they can
empathize with the victim. Complaint filing mechanism There are large of cases
where the victim's complaint is turned down and the police does not take the
offence seriously as a rape case take years to reach the judgement.
On the other hand, the accused can be influential and powerful which can lead to
police taking no action, also the methods of filing complaint are troublesome
and more simpler channels should be established so that complaint can be easily
made by layman. Reforms in standard procedure There is no prescribed standard of
medical or psychological help to the victim as there are cases when the victims
are made to go from one government hospital to another hospital and forced to
wait without even changing blood strained and torn clothes.
Smooth trial One of the biggest drawbacks of Indian judicial system is that it
takes a long to give judgement. Due to lack of public prosecutors and judges the
judicial system is overworked so there should be special fast track courts
conducting speedy trial and delivering the judgements quickly. Security to
witness Proper witness programme should be enforced to ensure that the victim is
not coerced by the criminal for an unjustified out of court settlement.
For overcoming this problem, the court can order proper security to the witness
so that the culprit does not escape the rigors of the law. Increase in
deterrence The punishment for rape offenders should be sever in the matters of
sentence during conviction and matters relating to bail because the accused make
use of the loopholes to make a mockery of our legal system. Conclusion After
reading this paper we can conclude that since time immemorial men considers the
women his personal property at his disposal. Rape does not see any class, caste,
religion or financial status of the victim.
Law of rape has changed over centuries in every other civil society but the gist
of this law is same i.e. the inferiority and helplessness of women as against
men. Rape is the most unreported crime. Proving a rape incident is very
difficult. Rape is the most injurious crime one can commit over the other it can
lead to many aftermath problems like unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted
diseases, sleeping irregularities, eating disorders, and other mental and
It is the responsibility of the public to ensure that their surroundings are
safe and sound and they should keep a liberal view. No social stigma should be
attached to a victim, in many countries such as India itself view the victim as
an abetter. In India marital rape is not a crime because marriage is considered
a sacred sacrament as per the Indian beliefs and marriage implies a permanent
consent to sexual intercourse.
In recent times demands for criminalising marital rape is on a hike and the
Justice Verma Committee also recommended the same, but the Indian parliament and
the courts are reluctant to amend the law as the chances for misusing of such a
law by women is very high. In February the Supreme Court rejected the plea of a
girl named Rashmi to punish her husband who had brutally raped her by stating
that law cannot be changed for one person. Many activists have argued that a
rape is a rape because only the consent of the victim matters and not her
relation with the perpetrator.