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Report No. 172

7.2.2. Recasting of section 376 of the IPC recommended.-

Section 376 shall be recast as follows:

"376. Punishment for sexual assault - (1) Whoever, except in the cases provided for by sub-section (2), commits sexual assault shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine unless the person subjected to sexual assault is his own wife and is not under sixteen years of age, in which case, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

If the sexual assault is committed by a person in a position of trust or authority towards the person assaulted or by a near relative of the person assaulted, he/she shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to life imprisonment and shall also be liable to fine. Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than minimum punishment prescribed in this sub-section.

(2) Whoever,-

(a) being a police officer commits sexual assault-

(i) within the limits of the police station to which he is appointed; or

(ii) in the premises of any station house whether or not situated in the police station to which he is appointed; or

(iii) on a person in his custody or in the custody of a police officer subordinate to him; or

(b) being a public servant, takes advantage of his official position and commits sexual assault on a person in his custody as such public servant or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to him; or

(c) being on the management or on the staff of a jail, remand home or other place of custody established by or under any law for the time being in force or of a women's or children's institution takes advantage of his official position and commits sexual assault on any inmate of such jail, remand home, place or institution; or

(d) being on the management or on the staff of a hospital, takes advantage of his official position and commits sexual assault on a person in that hospital; or

(e) commits sexual assault on a woman knowing her to be pregnant; or

(f) commits sexual assault on a person when such person is under sixteen years of age; or

(g) commits gang sexual assault, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may be for life and shall also be liable to fine :

Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of either description for a term of less than ten years.

Explanation 1.- Where a person is subjected to sexual assault by one or more in a group of persons acting in furtherance of their common intention, each of the persons shall be deemed to have committed gang sexual assault within the meaning of this sub-section.

Explanation 2.- "Women's or children's institution" means an institution, whether called an orphanage or a home for neglected women or children or a widows' home or an institution called by any other name, which is established and maintained for the reception and care of women or children.

Explanation 3.- "Hospital" means the precincts of the hospital and includes the precincts of any institution for the reception and treatment of persons during convalescence or of persons requiring medical attention or rehabilitation."

(paragraph 3.2.3, supra)



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