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Report No. 156

"Section 375: A man is said to commit rape-Firstly.-

Secondly.-

Thirdly.-With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested, in fear of death or of hurt, or of any other injury."

The words "or of any other injury" expand the scope of this clause to provide for situations of rape by persons in position of trust, authority, guardianship or of economic or social dominance. These cases will include incestuous rape and other instances where a victim of rape is totally dependent on the offender who is in a dominant position.

The National Commission for Women has recommended that section 375 be amended to change the reference of age to 16 years in clause 'Sixthly' (rape with or without her consent) to 18 years. The Law Commission approves that the charge proposed by NCW is necessary particularly in view of raising the age in section 361 (Kidnapping from lawful guardianship - age changed from 16 to 18 years).

The Law Commission, however, does not endorse the change proposed by NCW in the Exception to section 375 (sexual intercourse by a man with his wife) increasing age from 15 years to 18 years. Consequently, there need not be any amendment to section 198(6), Cr. P.C. as suggested by the National Commission for Women.

The Law Commission is of the opinion that the offence of child rape and its punishment is provided for under the existing section 376(2)(f). Consequently, the incorporation of a new sub-section (3) to section 378, as recommended by the National Commission for Women, is not called for.

9.35. To deal with the issue of increasing sexual violence on women and female children, the Law Commission recommends that the offence of sexual assault be added to the existing offence of outraging the modesty of women in section 354 and punishment be increased from two years to five years. Accordingly, section 354 be amended on the following lines:

"354. Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.-Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage her modesty or to commit sexual assault to her or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty or commit sexual assault to her, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine."

Expanding the scope of section 354 in the above manner, would in our view, cover the varied forms of sexual violence other than rape on women and female children.

The Law Commission is further of the view that the offence of eve teasing falls within the scope of section 509 and there is no need for a new section 376F as recommended by the National Commission for Women. However, the Law Commission feels that the quantum of punishment be increased from 1 year to 3 years and fine. Accordingly, we recommend that section 509 be amended in the following manner:

"509. Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.-Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending, that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine."



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