“MUDRER KILLS THE BODY RAPIST KILLS THE SOUL”-The expression “Rape” in a common language can be defined as ravaging or devouring women. It is derived from the term “Rapere” which translates as “sexually violate”. In India rape is a widespread crime and is the fourth most common crime against women.

In our country women constitute an important segment of the society and ;she is the metaphor of goddesses according to Indian beliefs, she plays the role of mother, wife, daughter, sister at the same time even though; she is not at par with men. Every religion respect woman and condemns a crime like rape.

In Islamic culture rape is termed as “ Zina-bil-Ikrah”, an act of rape  is not only a legal defined offence; but it has many consequences which are not only limited to any physical harm or injury, but the mental trauma which last for very long.

Rape should not only be construed as crime committed by any perpetrator or third person, but a husband who; assassinates the dignity of his wife by committing any kind of sexual act against her ;will constitutes offence commonly known as “Marital Rape” which is as cruel as murder because it; imposes a stigma on a women with which she is destined to suffer till her last breath.

The criminal justice system of our country makes; the heinous crime of rape punishable under section 375 and 376 of Indian Penal Code ,1860. Although the punishment for rape is not capital in India because; there are many loopholes in the law with the help of which an accused escapes the rigours of law and not brought to justice. In only rarest of rare cases death sentence for rape can be awarded. The question we need to ask our self is; when the women of our country be able to roam freely without any fear?

Key Words- Rape, women, sex, assault, etc.


Rape can be broadly classified into two types-

  1. Blitz Rape-

    it is a spontaneous encounter between the offender and the victim; where the offender approaches uninvited and forces himself over his victim and his identity remains unknown throughout the incident.

  2. Confidence Rape-

    the offender commits rape by deception or betraying the victim or; under other false pretences and there is some prior interaction between the assailant and the victim.

Major Rape Incidents in India

Mathura Rape Case-

Tuka Ram and Anr. V. State of Maharashtra[1]

In the year 1972, Mathura, a young tribal girl aged 14 to 16, lived with her brother Gama in a small village named Desaiganj, Maharashtra. Mathura and Gama were ;both laborer’s, and Mathura used to go to a woman named Nunshi’s residence alone. Nunshi’s nephew Ashok also; lived in the same house, and after some time, Ashok and Mathura” fell in love and decided to marry, but Gama disapproved of their relationship and filed an F.I.R. at Desaiganj police station on March 26, 1972, alleging Nunshi and Ashok were responsible for Mathura’s kidnapping.

At 9 p.m., suspects Nunshi and Ashok, complainant Gama, and Mathura were summoned to the police station, where their; statements were taken. At around 10.30 p.m., as they were about to leave the police station, constable Ganpat and Tukaram asked Mathura to stay and; asked Gama, Nunshi, and Ashok to leave and wait outside. Mathura was raped by policeman Ganpat, who shut the door and turned out the lights. Constable Tukaram attempted to rape her as well, but he was too inebriated to do so. Gama, Nunshi, and Ashok intuitively realized something was wrong and yelled out Mathura’s name, but they “heard no answer” from her.

When the court heard the case, he acquitted both constables. “Finally, when the rape was carried out, the constables departed” and “Mathura exited from the police station.” The crowd threatened to burn down the police station unless; the chief constable filed a FIR after learning the whole facts. The judge then acquitted both constables in the sessions trial.

“However, the Bombay high court overturned the sessions court’s decision and found the constables guilty. “Mere passive or helpless surrender and it’s capitulation to the other’s passion produced by menace or terror cannot be compared with desire or volition,” it said, pointing out the distinction between consent and passive submission. The “Supreme court” overturned the high court’s verdict and acquitted both constables on appeal. Because there was no harm to her and no struggle on her part, the highest court “came to the judgement that her complaint against the” two constables were blatantly untrue.

Section 228A (Disclosure of the name of the victim of certain offences, etc.)  included after the Mathura rape case with the goal of protecting the rape victim from societal disgrace.

Nirbhaya’s rape case

State vs Ram Singh and others[2]

On the night of 16 December 2012 Nirbhaya and her friend was returning after watching a movie and boarded a bus in which the rape took place which was committed by six offenders, out of which one was juvenile.

They seek to satisfy their unnatural lust and sadistic desires so they raped her and left her to die but somehow, she survives and was taken to Singapore for treatment but unfortunately, she died. The very next day there was a mass protest in form of candle light parade and solidarity movements. The police identify four accused Ram singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay sharma and Pawan gupta.

On 13th September the four convicts were given death sentence by the trail court. On 23rd September the Delhi High Court began hearing the case and upheld the decision of court of session.

The High Court stated that this case was “Rarest of Rare’ and held that “the offence in the present case is committed in a very cruel manner and the manner of commission of offence is an exceptional one. Further, time, place and manner of execution of crime speaks volumes about the severity of offence. Hence, High court upheld the decision of lower court and appeals of accused were dismissed.

The case was moved to Supreme Court which further upheld the conviction of the accused

Definition of rape before Nirbhaya’s case”: –

“Until 2012 the;definition of rape was restricted only to non-voluntary sesual intercourse. And as per section 375 only a man can commit rape only on women.”

 Amendment in the Definition of rape after Nirbhaya’s case: –

As a result of Nirbhaya’s case, the criminal law amendment Act 2013 widen the scope of offence of rape and included- “Any involuntary and forceful penetration without the women’s consent into women’s body parts like vagina, urethra, mouth or anus.

Justice Verma committee report: –

“After the unfatefull Nirbhaya rape case a Justice Verma Committee was formed in order to suggest changes in criminal law especially with respect to women’s rights. Recommendations of the committee were related to: –

  • Women’s issues
  • Sexual offences
  • Human trafficking”
The report contains the following points: –
  • Rape will include any non-consensual penetration of sexual nature
  • It was recommended to criminalise marital rape but no action taken on it.
  • The committee advised for setting up a rape crises cell for legal aid of the rape victims.

Controversy around the name Nirbhaya

Instead of the name of victim the alias “Nirbhaya” was used because section 228A of India Penal Code,1860 prohibits any person to print or publish the identity of the victim in a rape case. A person who contravenes the provisions of this section may be imprisoned up to two years along with fine.

Section 228A(2)(c) of the IPC, 1860 provides; for an exception to clause one stating that the name of the victim “can be made public in case of death of the victim with the permission of the next of kin of the victim. In the present case victims mother Asha Devi herself made Nirbhaya’s name known to public stating that no rape victim should be ashamed as it is the perpetrator at fault nor the victim.”

Supreme court in may 2017 upheld the death penalty of the convicts. The judgement was passed by Justice Deepak Mishra, R. Bhanumati and Ashok Bhushan unanimously. The bench held the attitude of the offenders as “bestial proclivity” and said “it sounds like a story from a different world where humanity is treated with irreverence”.

Unao Rape Case

The victim went missing from 4th June to 11th June her parents lodged then FIR. She was subjected to multiples rapes. When she returned she was warned by police to not accused BJP politician Kuldeep Sengar. On 3rd July victim went to Delhi to live with her uncle.

The victim wrote a letter to C.M of U.P Yogi Adityanath. In April 2108 the victim was forced to be hostile, on 3rd April 2018 the father of the victim was beaten by Atul Singh Sengar in presence of police, on 8th April victim tried to immolate herself in front of Yogi Adityanath house stating that police have not done anything. on 9th April’s father of the victim died due to injuries in fourteen places as per the post-mortem report. On 10th April Atul with four other persons were arrested on the charge under section 304, 323 and 504 of IPC,1860.

On 11th April the victim appealed to Rajiv Krishnan the additional DGP of Lucknow. The case was then transferred to CBI and on 7th July 2018 CBI admitted first charge sheet with the name of five persons including Atul Sengar. The charges were that they have murdered the father of the victim. On 11th July another charge sheet was filled in which five more persons were accused including the brother of MLA Jaideep Singh on charge of murder of the victim’s father. On 13th July third chargsheet was filled which mentioned the name of three policemen along with Kuldeep Singh Sengaer.

Kuldeep Sengar was an influential person can be seen from the fact that he was send to Sitapur prison which was 120 km away from Unao, and he got the uncle of the victim arrested on a charge of air firing eighteen years ago and he was imprisoned in Raibarali jail for ten years on 4th July 2019.

On 28th July 2019 the rape victim, her lawyer and got seriously injured and two of her aunts died when they were going to meet the victim’s uncle in Raibarali jail due to a collusion with a truck. On 29th july2019 a new FIR was lodged against Kuldeep Singh Sengar and twenty-nine others. The truck’s number plate was covered in Greece. The accused that the truck was taken on a loan and therefore Greece was applied to avoid the loan for some time.

Police stated that it is prima facie an accident but no one else believed so. The court ordered two constable and a gunner will be with her but the police state that victim refused to take them along as there was no space in the car when they were going to meet their uncle. A man wearing raincoat; was seen before the accident and he vanished into thin air after the occurrence of the accident.

Tishazara Court on 13th March 2020 sentenced former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar “

Kathua rape case

Mohd. Akhtar V. State of Jammu and Kashmir

Asif was eight years old minor who resided in jammu Kashmir’s Heeranagar village near Rasana village. She went missing on 10th January 2018 after seven days her dead body was found. The post-mortem report disclosed that she was kidnaped and gangraped and there were many injuries on her person, and she was drugged.

The accused were arrested and the case was transferred to Crime branch which filled a chargesheet on the basis of two months investigation.

The leader of the group was said; to be Sanjhi Ram a retired revenue official, his son Vishal a B.S.C agriculture student, his nephew a juvenile and Parvesh Verma an acquaintance of Sanjhi Ram and two police officers Deepak khujaria and Surrender Kumar.

The intention of Sanjhi Ram was to spread terror amongst Bakarwal’s community. Sanjhi Ram bribed head constable Tilak Raj and sub inspector Anand Dutta for destroying the evidence.

After the investigation it was discovered that the nephew of Sanjhi Ram enticed the victim to Devi Sthan and confined her there for seven days in intoxicated state in a store room. she was subjected to rape multiple times and was beaten to death.

In march 2018 the accused were arrested. The three main convicts were sentence to life imprisonment while the three including cops were sentenced to five years in prison each and the seventh accused was acquitted (Vishal Jangotra).

Priyanka Reddy Rape Case 

G.S. Nani & ANR V. Union of India

On 27th November 2019 Priyanka Reddy; was riding her scooter and on the way her tyre got flat, and she stranded on a deserted place with no public so she was; scared and called her sister after a while to her horror the phone got disconnected. It was around that; time the four accused persons approached her with an excuse to help her but; instead they raped her and burnt her alive on the outskirts of Shadnagar in Telangana’s Rnga Reddy’s District. This incident took place over a period of eight hours.

After the whole crime when ;the victim was not found for two days the victim sisters went to police station but they; refuse to file the complaint stating that it was not their jurisdiction. But subsequently four accused were arrested by the; Hyderabad police namely Mohammad Ali Alias Mohammad Arif, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen Kumar, and Chintakunta Chenna Keshavullu. All these four accused were; killed in an alleged encounter with police. The police commissioner V.C Sajjanar said that; the accused were taken to crime scene by the police as a part of investigation where;they ceased the arms of the police officer and fired upon them and; the police officers retaliated in self-defence, two of their policemen were also injured and the case is now under trail.

Criminal Law Amendment

After the Nirbhaya Case; the definition of section 375 has been substituted with the older definition and section 376 has been amended as well.

The amendment was done in two ways-

  • By amending existing sections
  • By introducing new sections

the Amendment Act of 2018 minimum punishment for rape has been increased from 7 years to 10 years.

This Act also inserted new criminal offences-

  • Section 376AB-(9) of this section deals with the cases of rape of minor under 12 years of age. The minimum punishment under this ;section is 20 years which may extend to life imprisonment i.e.- remainder of a person’s life or also death sentence can be given.
  • Section 376 DA-(10) of this section deals with the offence of gang rape of women under 16 years of age. It prescribes a minimum sentence of life imprisonment
  • Section 376 DB-(11) of this section deals with; the offence of gang rape of women under 12 years of age. It prescribes a minimum sentence of life imprisonment i.e.- remainder of a person’s life
  • Section 114A has been substituted by Amendment Act 2013.
This Amendment Act also provides for compensation to the victims. Any fine imposed on the convict by the court shall be given to the victim and it shall be sufficient to meet the necessary medical expenses and rehabilitation costs of the victim.


Reasons of Commission of Rape

  1. Lifestyle-

    It is a common notion that; a woman’s dress or makeup also provokes the offender to commit rape; but it is a lame reason because women in sarees, and bourkas are also raped and minor girls without any makeup are no exception to this heinous crime. The women’s consent is taken implied if she has; a liberal lifestyle. A legislator suggested banning skirts in private schools as it promotes the crime of rape.

  2. Less number of female constables

    -Shortage of the female police officers leads to less reporting of rape cases by the victims. As in the Mathura’s case the male police officer raped Mathura on the excuse of taking her statement.

  3. Liberal punishment

    -Sever punishment in cases of rape is given in rarest of rare circumstances which is very difficult to prove.

  4. Reputation-

    Most of the offenders are relatives, friends, acquaintances, neighbours, or employers which are known to the offender which makes it less likely that a victim will complaint against the people she knows. She is discouraged to file a complaint even by her dear ones like her parents.

  5. Political Power-

    Influential people tend to supress any voice which is raised against them using political influence which results in denial of reporting of cases.

  6. Poor Safety Measures-

    Lack of sufficient facilities like street lights and cctv cameras tempts the criminals to rape without any fear. In case of Priyanka Reddy’s rape case there was no street lights or cameras, if it had been so the incident could be avoided.

  7. Social Stigma

    -There is also a social stigma attached to a victim and she is looked down upon by the society as a result of which the victim is discouraged to file a report to the police.

  8. Bail Granted-

    Although Rape is a non bailable offence but the accused can get bail due lack of evidence.

  9. Less Convictions- a very few rape cases are reported and out of those even a very few leads to conviction and the rest of the offenders are released on the basis of lack of evidence.
  10. Social Stereotypes-

    another factor contributing towards rape is the social setup of India which shows;men as dominant and a woman’s consent is never taken into account. This stereotype exists because people are uneducated and they are bought up in an environment where males are given more importance than females.

All the aforesaid points are the reason that there is no fear in the mind of the offender and he commits rape indiscriminately.

Measures To Cure

  1. Recruitment of more females

India is a male dominated country and; there are more number of males as compared     to females in every field. The lack of female officers discourages the rape victims to file a complaint. Hence, it is the need of hour to recruit more females’ officers so they can empathize with the victim.

  1. Complaint filing mechanism

There are large of cases where the victim’s complaint is turned down and ; the police does not take the offence seriously as a rape case take years to reach the judgement. On the other hand; the accused can be influential and powerful which can lead to police taking no action; also the methods of filing complaint are troublesome and more simpler channels should be established so that complaint can be easily made by layman.

  1. Reforms in standard procedure

There is no prescribed standard of medical or psychological help to the victim as there are; cases when the victims are made to go from one government hospital to another hospital and forced to;wait without even changing blood strained and torn clothes.

  1. Smooth trial

One of the biggest drawbacks of Indian judicial system is that it takes a long to give judgement. Due to lack of public prosecutors and judges the judicial system is overworked so; there should be special fast track courts conducting speedy trial and delivering the judgements quickly.

  1. Security to witness

Proper witness programme should be enforced to ensure that; the victim is not coerced by the criminal for an unjustified out of court settlement. For overcoming this problem; the court can order proper security to the witness so that the culprit does not escape the rigors of the law.

  1. Increase in deterrence

The punishment for rape offenders should be; sever in the matters of sentence during conviction and matters relating to bail because; the accused make use of the loopholes to make a mockery of our legal system.


After reading this paper we can conclude that; since time immemorial men considers the women his personal property at his disposal. Rape does not see any class, caste, religion or financial status of the victim.

Law of rape has changed over centuries in every other civil society but; the gist of this law is same i.e., the inferiority and helplessness of women as against men.

Rape is the most unreported crime. Proving a rape incident is very difficult. Rape is the most injurious crime one can commit over the other it can lead to many aftermath problems like unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, sleeping irregularities, eating disorders, and other mental and physical incapability.

It is the responsibility of the public to ensure that;their surroundings are safe and sound and they should keep a liberal view.

In India marital rape is not a crime; because marriage is considered a sacred sacrament as per the Indian beliefs and; marriage implies a permanent consent to sexual intercourse. In recent times demands; for criminalising marital rape is on a hike and the Justice Verma Committee also recommended the same; but the Indian parliament and the courts are reluctant to amend the law as the chances for misusing of such a law by women is very high. In February the Supreme court rejected the plea of a girl named Rashmi to punish her husband; who had brutally raped her by stating that; law cannot be changed for one person. Many activist have argued that;a rape is a rape because only the consent of the victim matters and not her relation with the perpetrator.

[1] 1979(2) SCC 143

[2] 212(2014) DLT99


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