Among the offences against women, the menace of rape is of most serious. The law relating to rape has undergone drastic changes after the criminal law amendment to sections 375 and 376 and incorporation of sections 376-A, 376-B, 376-C and 376-D dealing with custodial rape.
Sections 375, 376, 376-A, 376-B, 376-C and 376-D of the Indian Penal Code 1860 lay down the provisions relating to the offence of rape.
Rape is a sexual offence. Sections 375, 376, 376-A, 376-B, 376-C and 376-D deal with the offence of Rape. Rape, simply means "having sexual intercourse by a man with a woman against her will or consent". Sexual intercourse with the consent of a girl below the age of 16 years also amounts to rape. However, sexual intercourse by a man with his wife who is below 15 years of age is no offence ( not a rape).
Rape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse sometimes also called sexual assault but according to law even sex with the consent of a girl under sixteen years of age constitutes a rape. According to the Indian penal code A man is said to commit "rape" who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions: -
putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
According to Sec.376 I.P.C., the punishment for rape shall not be less than seven years but may extend to life imprisonment or a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine. If the woman raped as his own wife and is not below the age of 12 years, the punishment may extend to two years imprisonment or with fine or with both.
Custodial Rape :
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1983 (known as Anti-rape Law Amendment) provides for penalties varying from seven years rigorous imprisonment to life term to those found guilty of committing rape. The amended provision makes sexual intercourse by a person in the position of a custodian of his victim-termed 'Custodial Rape' as an offence punishable with imprisonment of at least ten years, which may extend to life and also to fine. Sections 376-B, 376-C and 376-D inserted by the Amended Act of 1983 deal with custodial rape as stated below:
According to Sec.376-A, whoever has sexual intercourse with his wife during separation against the decree of judicial separation, custom etc., is punishable with imprisonment, which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 376-B prescribes punishment, which may extend to five years and also liable to fine for intercourse by a public servant with a woman in his custody/ official position or induces or seduces any woman.
It provides punishment of five years imprisonment and also fine for intercourse by Superintendent of Jail, remand home or other place or custody with a woman in his custody.
Section 376-D provides punishment of five years imprisonment and also fine for intercourse by any member of the management or staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital.
In order to sensitize the police officers at the ground level towards offences against women, CID, Crime Branch compiled a Compendium on Crime against Women. The Compendium contains the following:
1. Recent amendment of IPC/Cr.P.C.
2. CB Circular No.12/2012 regarding implementation of “Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012”
3. Police Circular Order 338/2013 pertaining to prompt investigation and prosecution of crime against women.
4. Police Circular Order 343/2013 regarding Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) pertaining to prompt investigation and prosecution of crime against women
Necessary instructions regarding Prompt investigation and submission of charge sheet within sixty days and extension of time in exceptional and specific cases have been mentioned in the SOP.
2,286 rape cases have been reported during the year 2015.
Out of 2,286 cases, 2,248 cases are true. Out of which 1,481 cases have been charge sheeted.