UNDERSTANDING SECTION 375 OF IPC
BY ASHWIN SINGH
Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code defines rape as “sexual intercourse with a woman against her will, without her consent, by coercion, misrepresentation or fraud or at a time when she has been intoxicated or duped, or is of unsound mental health and in any case if she is under 18 years of age.”
It’s rape if it falls under following categories:
1. Against her will.
2. Without her consent.
3. 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.
4. With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
5. With her consent, when, at the time of giving such a consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
6. With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age. Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of rape.
Consent under Section 375
Consent is defined as clear, voluntary communication that the woman gives for a certain sexual act. Marital rape is an exception to giving consent as it is not a crime under the Indian Penal Code, as long as the woman is above 18 years of age.
Exceptions to Section 375
Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife who is above the age of 18, is not sexual assault.
Amendment to Section 375 of IPC
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 or the Nirbhaya Act, was passed in Parliament to amend Section 375. To remove ambiguity in the earlier law and provide for strict punishment in cases of rarest cases of sexual violence, the legislation was expanded to define acts like penetration of penis into vagina, urethra, anus or mouth, or any object or any part of body to any extent into the aforesaid woman body parts (or making another person do so), as constituting an offence of sexual assault. Applying mouth or touching private parts were also classified as offences of sexual assault.
Except in certain aggravated situations, the punishment will be imprisonment of not less than seven years but it may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine. In aggravated situations, punishment will be rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 10 years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.