The term “rape” is an offence and one of the heinous crimes on a woman. It is worse than murder. Of all the crimes committed against a person, the rape is only a crime which is becoming worse day by day. The victim of the rape is always left apart by the society with a feeling inside her that a part of her body has been torn apart. To use another person’s body and ignore the soul that resides within their body is the most egregious crime that one person can commit against another.
Legal provisions in India
In India, it is defined as intentional and unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. The definition of rape is covered under Section – 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. There are two essentials which comes under the definition of rape one is the absence of consent and another is when the man penetrates his penis to any extent into the vagina, mouth, urethra, or anus of a woman to do so with him or any other person.
Provisions for punishment of rape
Punishment for rape is described under Section- 376 of Indian Penal code, 1860 on a single page but it take years to prove that section is correct and get enforced. The minimum punishment for rape in a minimum of 7 years of imprisonment and it can be extended to the death penalty or life imprisonment. In other countries, the punishment for rape is that the man who committed the offence is directly hanged or shot dead by a bullet in his head within the shortest span of time. But on the same hand in India, it takes years to get the offender punished which motivates men and provoke them to commit more and more rapes.
Why such a long process?
India is a country having the lengthiest constitution in the world. On one aspect it is a very good thing but when it comes for the proper enforcement of it, it becomes worse. As long as there is constitution, many loopholes are there for the offenders to safeguard them. If we see from one point of view it is a good thing because if the case is complex, it can be studied in detail from both sides i.e. Prosecution as well as from the side of the victim. But just as a coin it also has two sides one is good and one is bad. But the point here is that if the case is crystal clear or the shreds of evidence from the side of prosecution are solid and strong, then why so many years are to be taken to punish the offender? The answer is that as we say crimes are always against society but after looking at the conditions of the judiciary it seems like only one family which is affected has to suffer other than it no one has to do anything with it. One of the rape cases which was very serious in nature was Kathua Rape case of Jammu & Kashmir where a Minor girl was raped & recently one minor girl of Bhopal whose age was 8 years old was also raped and till today the investigation is going on and no conclusion could have been taken out of it. One of the leading cases related to rape in the state of Rajasthan is that a baby girl of 10 months old was raped by her 15-year-old neighbor in Karauli district. The limits were crossed when a U.P. Minister told that rape of a minor girl is rape but rape of a major girl is of a different nature.
It is expedient to change the human perspective and provide a new dimension to the definition of rape keeping in mind the current scenario. We just campaign about the awareness and injustice and abuses that happen in the Indian legal system. Almost in every offence, the rule of strict interpretation should be established so that there would be no loophole and chances for unjust in the social environment. The main issue that comes is like earlier the rapes were adhered to the women who were above 18 years of age but as we see the current scenario a baby of 18 months of age is also not safe and as we read the news today more rapes are held with girls who are minor than that of major ones. This sounds ridiculous but is really a grave concern to society. Statue and Legislation are completely dependent on people, money, and power. There is an urgent requirement of the society to scrutinize the definition of rape and their punishment should also be given a new definition describing alterations in punishment without any loopholes which would be appreciated by the whole society.
Jai Narain Vyas University