This article is written by Muskan Jain, a 1st year law student of Amity University, Chhattisgarh
‘Rape’ as a clearly defined offence was introduced with the enactment of Indian Penal Court 1860, prior to this, there were often diverse and conflicting laws prevailing across India. After the enactment a lot of changes have been introduce in the wider context for the modesty of a women. Not only the law has been changes but also the prospective of society toward it has been changed. Not only the victim has to face taboo in the society, under most circumstances she was the one who blamed for it. But in today’s scenario the things has been changed, society has had its full and there is a general intolerance towards the offence of rape.
WHAT ACTUALLY THE IPC SAYS?
Sec 375 of Indian Penal Court define the term ‘RAPE’ as an offence. The Section provides the circumstances under which these acts would amount to the offence of rape.
BY THE COMMISSION:-
A man is said to commit rape, if he:-
- Penetrates of any Orifice in women by man or any other person.
- Penetrate of any Orifice to any extent in a woman by man or any other person.
- Manipulate any part of the body of a woman so as to cause penetration in any Orifice in a women by man or any other person.
- Touching any Orifice with the mouth.
BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES:-
- All the act done above should be against her will and without her consent.
- All the acts done with her consent, but her consent has been obtain by putting her or any person in whom she is interested, or in fear of death or of hurt.
- With her consent, but the consent obtained is on the false pretext that the man is her husband.
- All the act done with her consent, but the consent given by her during unsoundness of mind or in intoxication or thought any stupefying or wholesomeness substance.
- If a girl is below 18 years of age, it does not consider whether her consent was Obtained or not.
- When she is unable to communicate consent.
PUNISHMENT OF RAPE DEFINED IN SEC 376:-
Sec 376 provides punishment for the offence of rape which is rigorous imprisonment for 10 year to imprisonment for life + fine and, If a person committing an offence of rape on a girl under 16 years of age, the punishment is rigorous imprisonment for 20 years to imprisonment for life + fine.
RISING MENACE OF FALSE RAPE IN INDIA
As we all know, Rape is alarmingly increasing in India and false rape accusation brew large in culture imagination, there are also a women/girl who misuse this for their benefits and make up false stories of rape cases. The law/relief that was provided to women to protect themselves is now being used by them as a tool against men. The women who also misuse the ‘Pro women’ law prevailing in our country are a threat to other victim who has gone through the heinous of the crime. The reason behind, women who misuses the law accuses men for rape to extort money, coerce them into marriage or to get position and job or for false pretext of marriage. Such cases are on rise so that Supreme Court had to intervene & rule that if a man or woman ends a consented relationship, charges of rape cannot be imposed on a man if during that relationship consensual sex was involved. No matter what was the reason for that relationship to end? In many of the cases, false rape accusations are simply the result of parents covering up the ‘shame’ of an unmarried daughter having sex. As per National crime Bureau in 2016 38,947 rape cases were reported out of which 10,068 were claimed as rape by women on false pretext of marriage.
A false accusation of rape not only destroys the life and family of accused but also affect genuine victims who would have to fight prejudice for society which a false rape charges creates. It destroys lives on very deep level. The consequences of this can be anything from broken families and friendship to being arrested for false accusation, although the lie can take years to uncover and by that time this can lead to loss of job, respect in society and other financial implications involved to fight the legal battle. Just like a women is left with serious mental agony after the commission of rape, a false accusation can also lead a man into a mental pain and depression, leave scars forever for the accused and ended up sometimes to commit Suicide.
A man who has been accused of false rape charge should have been provided with compensation and rehabilitation. They should provide with the help of ward off mental suffering which he suffer during the case. Also it is necessary to prosecute such women/girl, as the fear of sentence to jail will stop them for making such false accusations. Thus, it is the time to made rape law gender neutral to include all.
Image from Girls’ Globe