the word itself holds too much negative power to send horrible chills down
the spine of every individual. It is such a disturbingly vile, unpleasant act
committed by petty and wretched lice of humans.
Section 375 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, states, a man is said to commit "rape"
- penetrates his penis, to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra, or
anus of a woman or makes her do so with him or any other person; or
- inserts, to any extent, any object or a part of the body, not being the
penis, into the vagina, the urethra or anus of a woman or makes her do so
with him or any other person; or
- manipulates any part of the body of a woman to cause penetration into
the vagina, urethra, anus, or any ~ of the body of such woman or makes her
do so with him or any other person; or
- applies his mouth to the vagina, anus, urethra of a woman or makes her
do so with him or any other person, under the circumstances falling under
any of the following seven descriptions:
- Against her will
- Without her consent
- With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or
any person in whom she is interested, in fear of death or of hurt
- With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and that
her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she
is or believes herself to be lawfully married
- With her consent when, at the time of giving such consent, because of
unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally
or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome Substance, she is unable
to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent
- With or without her consent, when she is under eighteen years of age
- When she is unable to communicate consent
Section 376 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, states, whoever, except in the cases
provided for in subsection (2), commits rape, shall be punished with rigorous
imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than seven
years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable
Section 376A of Indian Penal Code, 1860, states, whoever commits an offense
punishable under sub-section (l) or subsection (2) of section 376 and in the
course of such commission inflicts an injury that causes the death of the woman
or causes the woman to be in a persistent vegetative state shall be punished
with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years,
but which may extend to imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for
the remainder of that person's natural life, or with death.
Section 376B of Indian Penal Code, 1860, states, whoever has sexual intercourse
with his wife, who is living separately, whether under a decree of separation or
otherwise, without her consent, shall be punished with imprisonment of either
description for a term which shall not be less than two years but which may
extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 376C of Indian Penal Code, 1860, states, whoever, being:
- in a position of authority or a fiduciary relationship; or
- a public servant; or
- superintendent or manager of a jail, remand home, or another place of
custody established by or under any law for the time being in force, or a
women's or children's institution; or
- on the management of a hospital or being on the staff of hospital abuses
such position or fiduciary relationship to induce or seduce any woman either
in his custody or under his charge or present in the premises to have sexual
intercourse with him, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offense
of rape, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment of either description
for a term which shall not be less than 6 years, but which may extend to ten
years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 376D of Indian Penal Code, 1860, state, where a woman is raped by one or
more persons constituting a group or acting in furtherance of a common
intention, each of those persons shall be deemed to have committed the offense
of rape and shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall
not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to life which shall mean
imprisonment for the remainder of that person's natural life, and with fine.
Sections 376E of Indian Penal Code, 1860, states, whoever has been previously
convicted of an offense punishable under section 376 or section 376A or section
3760 and is subsequently convicted of an offense punishable under any of the
said sections shall be punished with imprisonment for life which shall mean
imprisonment for the remainder of that person's natural life, or with death.
The act of rape was committed by 6 men in a running bus in Delhi on the night of
16 December 2012. The original name of the victim is unpublished and mentioned
as Nirbhaya at all times. Nirbhaya a 23-year-old woman with his friend was
waiting at a bus stop. She was convinced and made to enter the empty bus. The
driver, along with 5 other members including a minor of age 17 engaged in the
animal act of forceful sexual assault.
The friend who tried to protect Nirbhaya
from such forceful acts was beaten up by those 6 members. Nirbhaya was brutally
raped and suffered various other harsh injuries. She was later admitted to the
hospital for treatment but couldn’t survive. She had witnessed physical and
mental instability, multiple organ failure, internal bleeding, cardiac arrest,
and various other troubles.
Whether the accused were liable under the following sections of the Indian Penal
- Section 375
- Section 376
- Section 376A
- Section 376D
On December 17, 2012, people took to the streets for widespread protests against
stringent actions to be taken against the accused. Police identified the 4 of
them. Later on, December 18, the four accused were arrested. After the
testification by the victim’s friend, the delinquent juvenile was nabbed from
Anand Bihar bus terminal, Delhi. The last accused was arrested in the Aurangabad
district of Bihar and was brought to Delhi. The victim gave all the statements
and then met the hands of death on December 29.
The then CJI, Justice Altamas
Kabir inaugurated the fast-track court (FTC) for the speedy redressal of sexual
offenses. Police filed a charge sheet against the five accused of murder, gang
rape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, dacoity and, unnatural offenses. The court
takes cognizance of the charge sheet and the FTC starts the proceedings against
the five accused adults. Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) confirms the minority of
the sixth accused.
Charges against the five adult accused were framed by FTC and
by the JJB against the minor. Ram Singh, one of the accused, commits suicide in
Tihar Jail. FTC completes the recording of the testimonies of the prosecution
witnesses and then begins the final hearing in the trial against the four-adult
accused. Meanwhile, JJB holds the minor guilty for the charges as well. Court
convicts the four-adult accused of 13 offenses and later awards the death
penalty to each one of them. From March 13, 2014, to March 19, 2020, various
petitions and pleas were filled by all the four-adult accused as well as by the
minor. All of them were rejected and not entertained by the Court.
- The learned counsel on behalf of the respondents applied for a Review
Petition in the Supreme Court under Article 137. Such a review petition can
be filed in a Supreme Court when either of the parties is aggrieved by an
order passed by the court when there is some error of facts of the case
- The petitioner, the State convicted the 6 men who were involved in such
a demoniac activity. The respondents argued implying that there was no
similarity between the activities that took place and the 6 people. The
learned counsel tried to prove the presence of the 6 men in some other
place, but due to the witnesses and other supporting pieces of evidence such
as DNA test, blood traces, the petitioner was able to prove his arguments.
- The counsel from the respondent’s side then moved for a Curative
Petition, for requesting any relief for the aggrieved individual even after
the final judgment has been passed. The Supreme Court for the greater good
rejected the plea.
- Finally, respondents took the last resort of moving the Mercy Petition.
A Mercy Petition is filed before the President of India. The President has
the power to either reprieve, respite, or remit a punishment given by the
Apex Court, but such a decision requires a just and fair consultation with
the Council of Ministers. The President upheld the death sentence given by
the Supreme Court.
- The Criminal Amendment Act 2013 was amended majorly which widened the scope
of rape as mentioned under Section 375 and inserted Sections 354A, 354B, 354C,
- The definition of rape which was only restricted to sexual intercourse
expanded to include any involuntary and forceful penetration without the
woman’s consent into the woman’s body parts.
- Justice Verma Committee Report – the committee was majorly concerned about
the sexual assault that takes place all over the country against women.
committee was formed to make sure of a speedy trial and redressal and to provide
punishment to the accused of the Nirbhaya. Following changes were put forth:
- The report suggested the widening of the scope of the definition of rape
under the Indian Penal Code
- It recommended laws for marital rape.
- Recommended special laws for women harassment in the workplace (Sexual
Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill,
- Suggested a system for online FIR filing.
- Made ways for the police to deal with offenses related to rape
irrespective of jurisdiction.
A three-judge bench came to a unanimous decision that the accused don’t deserve
any sympathy and protection by law. This gruesomely heinous crime shook the
entire nation’s conscience. A three-judge bench, through a unanimous verdict,
upheld the Delhi High Court judgment that had concurred with the trial court
decision of the case and awarded them the death penalty, stating that the
criminal act suffices the provisions of, and falls under the cases of
Justice should not take more than half a decade to be attained. The criminals
stooping to the levels of vermin-filth shouldn’t be given any leverage to
protect themselves. The verdict of the Nirbhaya case, giving a death sentence to
the accused which was done to set a precedent, an example in the minds of the
public to prohibit indulging in these cruelly odious crimes has failed. Corrupt
minds have been raping without getting caught by the law.
There is an
uncountable number of rape cases that have been piling up in the courts. Laws
and regulations that are in play today need to be made more stringent and
heavily backed by sanctions. Outraging modesty and making a person fall to the
condition of death should not be blind-sighted by ignorance.
Written By: Tanisha
- Indian Penal Code, 1860