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Report No. 84

2.14. Cases of helpless resignation.-

In the course of the oral discussions which we held with the representatives of the women's organisations, it has been suggested that in order to cover cases of submission to intercourse, there should be added below section 375 of the Indian Penal Code a suitable Explanation on the following lines:-

"A mere act of helpless resignation in the face of inevitable compulsion, acquiescence, non-resistance and passive giving in when volitional faculty is either clouded by fear or vitiated by duress cannot be deemed to be consent."

One can have no objection to the principle underlying the suggestion. However, two observations may be made on the subject. In the first place, the requirement of "free and voluntary" consent which we are going to add in section 375 implies an active mental participation of the woman in the transaction and a qualification of the nature suggested would not be required. In the second place, it would not be correct to deal with only certain aspects of submission or certain varieties thereof, because then there is the risk that other situations to which the qualifying epithets do not apply would be left out. It is better to have a simpler but more comprehensive provision. Our recommendation to cover fear of "injury" or use of criminal intimidation meets the point.

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