The sex crimes form the mainstay of the tabloid and newspapers. Rape is a crime, which has devastating effect on the survivors. It has been described as beginning of a nightmare. The aftershocks include depression, fear, guilt complex, suicidal action etc. Moreover the victim becomes afraid of half the human reference. The Delhi rape case shook India. Such was its impact that it changed the Rape law in India.
Rape – Salient features of the definition
- In sharp contrast to the old definition sexual intercourse is not the only essential ingredient of rape. Penetration of penis into the vagina mouth, urethra or anus of a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person.
- Inserts to any extent any object or a part of the body, not being penis into the aforesaid body parts except mouth. However, medical procedure is not a rape.
- manipulates any part of the body of a woman so as to cause penetration into the aforesaid parts except mouth.
- Applies his mouth to the aforesaid parts except mouth
- Against her will
- without her consent
- For the first time consent is defined as unequivocal voluntary agreement when the woman by words, gestures or any form of verbal or non verbal communication, communicates willingness to participate in the specific sexual act. Provided that a woman does not physically resist to the penetration shall not by reason only of that fact, be regarded as consenting to the sexual activity.
- Sexual act with own wife not under the age of 15 not a rape. However as per section 376B sexual intercourse by husband upon his wife during separation is punishable.
- A new section 376 A punishing causing of death or resulting in persistent vegetative state of victim has been added.
- Also by virtue of section 376C sexual intercourse by a person in authority is also made punishable.
- Gang rape is made punishable as per section 376D. In such cases fine has to be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim. Any fine imposed under this section has to be paid to the victim.
- Punishment for repeated offender is made punishable as per section 376 E.
The recent rise in the sexual crimes against women in the country shocked the entire country. As a result urgent reforms in the rape laws were demanded. Such was the impact of Nirbhaya case that the definition of rape has been amended to increase various sexual acts within its scope. However, it is to be remembered that rapes are nourished by norms, attitudes and practices that trivialize, tolerate and even condone violence against women.
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