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Section 376 Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC) Punishment for Rape

Home » Criminal Law Guide » Section 376 Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC) Punishment for Rape

Punishment for rape

1. Whoever, except in the cases provided for in sub-section (2), commits rape, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not he less than seven years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

2. Whoever,—

a. being a police officer, commits rape—

                      i. within the limits of the police station to which such police officer is appointed; or

                     ii. in the premises of any station house; or

                    iii. on a woman in such police officer’s custody or in the custody of a police officer subordinate to such police officer; or

b. being a public servant, commits rape on a woman in such public servant’s custody or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to such public servant; or

c. being a member of the armed forces deployed in an area by the Central or a State Government commits rape in such area; or

d. 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, commits rape on any inmate of such jail, remand home, place or institution; or

e. being on the management or on the staff of a hospital, commits rape on a woman in that hospital; or

f. being a relative, guardian or teacher of, or a person in a position of trust or authority towards the woman, commits rape on such woman; or

g. commits rape during communal or sectarian violence; or

h. commits rape on a woman knowing her to be pregnant; or

i. commits rape on a woman when she is under sixteen years of age; or

j. commits rape, on a woman incapable of giving consent; or

k. being in a position of control or dominance over a woman, commits rape on such woman; or

l. commits rape on a woman suffering from mental or physical disability; or

m. while committing rape causes grievous bodily harm or maims or disfigures or endangers the life of a woman; or

n. commits rape repeatedly on the same woman, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section,—

a. “armed forces” means the naval, military and air forces and includes any member of the Armed Forces constituted under any Jaw for the time being in force, including the paramilitary forces and any auxiliary forces that are under the control of the Central Government!, or the State Government;

b. “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;

c. “police officer” shall have the same meaning as assigned to the expression “police” under the Police Act, 1861;

d. “women’s or children’s institution” means an institution, whether called an orphanage or a home for neglected women or children or a widow’s home or an institution called by any other name, which is established and maintained for the reception and care of women or children.

(3) Whoever, commits rape on a woman under sixteen years of age shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and shall also be liable to fine:

Provided that such fine shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim:

Provided further that any fine imposed under this sub-section shall be paid to the victim

What is the punishment for filing a false complaint of rape?

how to fight against false rape complains?

Know the Punishment for False complaint of Rape.

How common are false accusations of Rape?

Rape is an extremely serious allegation to be made against a person. It has been observed that a person who is accused of rape has often been ridiculed by his neighbors, colleagues, friends and even family even before the court has delivered its verdict.

Putting a person through such a defamatory proceeding in itself is a form of revenge which is usually the motive behind these cases.

While the names of the victims in all rape cases including these fake rape cases have been kept undisclosed, the names of the accused or the pronounced offenders have been given no privacy whatsoever and have been freely circulated.

Keeping the identity of the accused in such cases is one of the measures that can be taken to minimize the damage caused to one’s repute while he is under the radar for a crime that he may not be guilty of committing. As the number of reported rape cases have been on the rise in the country, so have the faulty motives of some people filing these cases.

Under these circumstances, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has recommended protecting the rape accused from “false accusations” by keeping their identities confidential and undisclosed until they are found guilty.

The NHRC recommendation has been made at a time when offences like rape or any other sexual offences have been attracting major punishments as well as negative media attention thereby bringing the entire proceeding under the public eye. This has been found especially true in case of affluent and famous people who have been accused of such heinous crimes.

What are the reasons for falsely accusing a man?

  • False promises of marriage

Time and again it has proven difficult to verify if a rape case is has been falsely registered but it cannot be denied that instances of these fake cases have been on the rise. In some cases it has been alleged that men have had sexual relations with a woman fraudulently by promising to marry her in the future.

In such cases, the Bombay High Court has said that if the evidence of a “deep love affair” exists, the man cannot be convicted of rape on the basis of misinterpretation of facts.

  • Past rivalries and vengeance

It has often been observed that reporting a rape case against a man has been used as the most effective method to avenge an old rivalry, blackmail an affluent person or seek revenge for multiple other reasons.

Even if the person filing such a complaint knows that they may not have sufficient evidence to prove it, the damage to the reputation of the accused is often irreparable even after he has been acquitted.

  • Social stigma about love marriages

In a diverse country like ours, there are still certain obscure towns and villages where it is customary that the women are not allowed to choose their own partners as it is considered to bring dishonor to the family or the community that she may belong to.

In such situations, women may find themselves in a position where they choose to accuse their lovers of rape when their relationship is revealed. This is especially true in the case of inter-racial and inter-religious relationships.

In situations like this, sexual relations may even be proved in a court of law. This also results in the men getting falsely implicated or having an emotional breakdown along with their reputation being tarnished beyond repair.

In situations like these, women are also found suffering from depression and guilt for ruining the lives of the accused to save their honour in the society.

  • Marital rape

It has been brought up time and again that marital rape hasn’t been included in the anti-rape laws in India. Therefore, the only remedy available to a woman that has been raped by her husband is to file for either a divorce or domestic violence or both.

Sometimes, when women have been subjected to marital rape for a long period of time but aren’t able to avail the justice that an unmarried rape victim would get, they resort to asking other women to make false accusations against their husbands to avenge the ill-treatment that has been caused to them. Whether these cases are wrongful or not is a matter of perspective.

Consent is implied when a woman marries a man.

In this matter, the High court observed that when a wife does not live separately from her husband even when a decree of separation has been granted to them, even when she has been subjected to sexual intercourse by the husband against her will or without her husband, she cannot attract an offence towards her husband under Section 376A of the Indian Penal Code.

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