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Report No. 172

3.2. Modification of S.376.-

So far as the proposed section 376 is concerned, we are not suggesting any substantial changes except two and adapting the language of the section to accord with the change in section 375. In the light of instances coming before the courts and the instances mentioned in the Note prepared by Sakshi, we have proposed addition of a proviso to sub-section (1) (while treating the existing proviso as the second proviso) providing that where the sexual assault is committed by the father, grandfather or brother, the punishment should be severe.

On the basis of suggestions made by Sakshi, we have also added the words "or any other person being in a position of trust or authority towards the other person" after the words "father, grandfather or brother". The second change suggested by us is in the matter of the age of wife referred to in proposed sub-section (1) as also of the person assaulted in clause (f) of sub-section (2). The age "fifteen" is raised to "sixteen".

3.2.1. The reasons for these changes are: (1) to visit with a severe penalty the near relations and persons in position of trust and authority who more often than not commit the offence of sexual assault on the members of the family or on unsuspecting and trusting young persons. We have in this connection taken note of the extremely odious and debased conduct of the father of the minor girl in the facts highlighted in Sudesh Jakhoo v. K.C.J. and others [1996 (3) AD Delhi 653 = (1996) 62 DLT 563] and (2) to maintain uniformity in the matter of age of wife or any other young person who needs special protection - as sixteen.



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