Report No. 84
1.3. Reference by Government.-
In view of the recent discussions that have taken place in the press and in other forums regarding the inadequacy of the law to protect women who have been victims of rape or assaults on their modesty, Government has asked the Law Commission1 to make a special study of the law relating to rape. Government has also requested the Commission to consider certain material2 relevant to the subject, which was referred to in the letter of reference, and forwarded to the Commission by a supplementary letter. The material so forwarded includes a letter addressed by a lady Member of Parliament, a newspaper cutting containing report of a meeting at which some suggestions for reform were made, extract from the I.P.C. Amendment Bill, as also certain administrative instructions issued by the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs on the subject of arrest and interrogation of women.
It has been suggested in the letter of reference that the study should cover not only the substantive law relating to rape, but also the rules of evidence and procedure and other related matters. The Commission has been requested to forward its Report within as short a period as possible. Later, on 15th April, 1980, certain other materials,3 namely, copy of a petition addressed to the Lok Sabha by Smt. Lata Mani and a copy of the uncorrected record of the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the 27th and 28th March, 1980 on a motion (relating to rape on women) moved in the Lok Sabha by Smt. Geeta Mukherjee were forwarded to us. We have carefully considered the points made in the petition and in the Lok Sabha Debates.
1. D.O. letter No. PS/LS/LA/80, dated 27th March, 1980, from the Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law to the Member-Secretary, Law Commission of India (Letter of reference).
2. D.O. letter No. 1482/80A, dated 31st March, 1980 from Joint Secretary & Legal Adviser, Department of Legal Affairs to the Member-Secretary, Law Commission of India (Supplementary letter).
3. D.O. letter dated 14/15 April, 1980 addressed by Shri P.K. Kartha, Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser to Member-Secretary, Law Commission of India.