Rape, Women and Legal Rights

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In India, Rape is the fourth most common crime against women. As per the 2019 annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau NCRB), 32033 rape cases were registered across India. On average daily, 88 matters are written, slightly lower than the 2018 ratio when 91 points were recorded daily.

  • Rape is the fourth-highest crime against Women 
  • Constitutional rights for Women 

India has been one of “countries with the lowest per capita rates of rape”. The government also classifies consensual sex committed on the false promise of marriage as rape. The willingness to report rapes has increased after several incidents received widespread media attention and triggered local and nationwide public protests. 

One of the most heinous atrocities committed is rape on a woman in our society. Rape takes place if a man has sexual intercourse, i.e., 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.

It includes inserts, to any extent, an 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.

He even manipulates any part of a woman’s body to cause penetration into the vagina, urethra, anus or any part of the body of such woman or makes her do so with him or any other person. Even it applies his mouth to the vagina, anus, urethra of a woman or makes her do so with him or any other person.

Here are the circumstances falling under any of the following seven descriptions:

  • Against her will.
  • Without her consent.
  • With her consent, her permission has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested, in fear of death or hurt.
  • By getting her consent by pretending to be her husband.
  • When she does not understand the nature and consequences of what she has consented to because of unsoundness of mind or under the influence of alcohol.
  • With or without her consent when she is under eighteen years of age.
  • When she is unable to communicate consent. 

A rape victim can file an FIR in the local police station under the following sections of the Indian Penal Code. 

  • 376-Punishment for Rape
  • 376A-Punishment for causing death or resulting in the persistent vegetative stage of the victim.
  • 376B- Sexual Intercourse by Husband upon his wife during separation 
  • 376C- Sexual Intercourse by Person in Authority 
  • 376D-Gang Rape   

The Indian Penal Code of 1860 communicates implied consent for sexual intercourse in a marriage, which cannot be said otherwise. Section 375 of the IPC. States that penetration sans informed consent would be categorized as rape.

However, Exception 2 to the same section discriminates against married women by refusing equal protection from rape and sexual harassment. This categorization is directly violative of the test of reasonable classification provided under Article 14 of the Constitution. 

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution states that “no person shall be denied his life and personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law”. As a result, Exception 2 is violative of Article 21.

It fails to protect wives from forced sexual acts imposed by their husbands, constituting a detrimental effect on their physical and mental health and their right to live with dignity. 

Here are Constitutional rights that are available for women in India- 

Article 14 of Fundamental right to equality before Law that is, equal protection of laws in India. 

Article 15 – Prohibition of discrimination on religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. However, art 15(3) empowers the state to make any special provision for women and children -Article 15 

Article 16 of Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment or opportunity to any office under state and prohibits discrimination on the ground of sex. 

Article 19– Freedom of speech and expression and freedom to practice any profession or to carry out any occupation, trade or business  

Article 21– Protection of life and personal liberty 

Article 21– Right to Privacy 

Article 300[A]– Right to property  

 


Edited By- Subbuthai Padma

Published By- Saloni Agarwal

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Vanshika Sahu
Vanshika Sahu
I am pursuing my BA.LLB. I believe I am qualified for the role of Research, Content Writing, and Analysis. My work inspires me because I am ambitious, devoted, and enthusiastic about it. I’d want to take on tasks that will help me improve my skills. Right now, I’m taking advantage of any chance to acquire new abilities and succeed at them. I am committed to investigating numerous legal disciplines that may assist me in developing my profession. I love to talk about matters which are ignored by society. Mental health is one of those issues; speaking about the same has become more important today than any other day.

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