SEXUAL OFFENCES – THE INDIAN SCENARIO

    According to the National Crime Report Bureau, in every 15 minutes, a woman or girl in India is  raped by a man[1]. However, most such cases of rape go unregistered. In almost 94% of the cases, the offenders were known to the victims – relatives, friends, live-in partners, employers or others, the information showed. As many as 33,356 incidents of rape were reported during 2018 involving 33,977 victims, a mean 89 rape incidents daily. Because the rape or sexual crime is committed by the friend or relatives of the victim the cases were not recorded as it would cause damage to the family’s reputation. The families are also force to not to report the crime, thus, the silence crime rate of rape is increasing every day. Sexual offences and violence more than being a dehumanizing act is an illegal intrusion on the right of privacy and sanctity of a woman[2].

    CLASSIFICATION OF SEXUAL OFFENCES

    NATURAL OFFENCES

    It consists of those offences that are committed in the order of nature, that is penetration of vagina by means of the penis. It consists of:

    1. Rape 
    2. Incest
    3. Adultery 

    UNNATURAL OFFENCES

    Unnatural Offences mean sexual intercourse performed against the order of nature. It includes:

    1. Sodomy
    2. Tribadism 
    3. Bestiality 
    4. Buccal Coitus

    SEXUAL PERVERSIONS

    Sexual perversions are situations wherein sexual pleasure or orgasm is related to acts or imagery which can be taken into consideration as unusual in the culture. It includes:

    1. Sadism
    2. Masochism
    3. Necrophilia 
    4. Fetichism
    5. Masturbation 
    6. Voyeurism
    7. Transvestitism
    8. Exhibitionism
    9. Frotteurism
    10. Undinism

    SEXUAL OFFENCES COVERED IN THE INDIAN PENAL CODE

    GANG RAPE UNDER 376(D) OF IPC

    Being on the management or on the staff of a hospital, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in that hospital[2].

      • Unnatural Offence under Section 377 of IPC – It speaks about unnatural sex with any man, woman or animal.
      • Outraging Modesty of Women under Sections 354A, B of the IPC – The law makes it a special crime to use force against a woman, or even threaten to use force, if the goal is to outrage her modesty.  

    ACID ATTACK UNDER SECTIONS 326-A, 326-B OF IPC

    Sections 326 A and 326 B of the IPC to punish the perpetrators of an acid attack on the victim. 

    PROCURATION UNDER SECTION 366-A OF IPC

    Whoever by way of means of any way in any respect induces any minor lady under the age of 18 years to move from one place or to do any act with cause that such lady may be or knowing that it’s far in all likely that she can be forced or seduce to illicit intercourse with some other person.

    IMPORTATION UNDER SECTION 366-B OF IPC

    If any person imports into India from outside or from the State of Jammu and Kashmir, any lady under the age of 21 years with cause that she may be or knowing it to be likely that she can be forced or seduced to illicit the course with the opposite person.

      • Selling under Section 372 of the IPC – A person who is below 18 years either being sold or been hired or been disposed to any other person for the purpose of employing him for prostitution or illicit intercourse or for an unlawful and immortal purpose or any such activity.

     BUYING UNDER SECTION 373 OF IPC

    If anybody buys, hires or otherwise obtains possession of any person, who is below 18 years and the purpose of doing that is to have them for prostitution or for illicit intercourse or to use them for unlawful or immoral purposes at any age the activity or the transaction should happen when they are below 18 years but usage may happen even after 18 years also, now if someone is buying a girl of 15 years they might be using that girl for prostitution for her entire life.

    VOYEURISM UNDER SECTION 354-C OF IPC

    Voyeurism is the sexual interest in our exercise of spying on human beings engaged in intimate conduct along with undressing sexual activity or specific actions generally taken into consideration to be of a non-public nature. The voyeurs now no longer usually have interaction at once with the subject of his or her interest. Who is frequently ignorant of being determined the essence of voyeurism is the searching however may comprise the making of a secret image or video of the difficulty at some stage in an intimate activity. 

    • Stalking under Section 354-D, IPC – Stalking means following, attempting to contact or to foster personal interaction repeatedly after clear indication of disinterest by a woman.
    • Sexual Harassment on the place of work under Section 354-A of the IPC – Sexual harassment is a special type of discrimination identified as part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the prohibition on discrimination based on sex. Sexual harassment is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as unwelcomed advance requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with the individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

    In Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan[3], Section 354A was added by an amendment in 2013, before which the governing law on sexual harassment at workplace was Vishakha Guidelines given in this case.

     https://legalreadings.com/changes-brought-in-consumer-protection-act-2019/

    OTHER LEGISLATIVE LAWS TO PROHIBIT SEXUAL OFFENCES

     THE INDECENT REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN (PROHIBITION) ACT, 1986

     An Act of the Parliament of India which was enacted and modified to restrict indecent representation of girls through commercials or in publications, writings, paintings, figures and in every other manner.

     THE IMMORAL TRAFFIC (PREVENTION) ACT, 1956

    As per the present law, the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) prostitution has become an offence whilst there may be commercial exploitation of a person.

     THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR WOMEN RIGHTS ACT, 1990

    The National Commission for Women is the statutory frame of the Government of India, usually concerned with advising the authorities on all policy matters affecting girls. 

     THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ACT, 1993

    The Act provides for the establishment of a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), similarly to Human Rights Courts. 

    THE SCHEDULED CASTES AND SCHEDULED TRIBES (PREVENTION OF ATROCITIES) ACT,1989

    This Act was passed by the Rajiv Gandhi Government with an intention to prevent atrocities to Dalits and Adivasis. However on 20th March, the Supreme Court issued a set of guidelines which diluted some fundamental provisions of the Act. Atrocities against Dalits and adivasis are increasing in our country. The new guidelines will only make prosecution under the Act more difficult.

    THE YOUNG PERSONS (HARMFUL PUBLICATIONS) ACT, 1956

    An Act to prevent the dissemination of certain publications harmful to young persons. 

    THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005

    This Act aims to protect women from domestic violence and to ensure them residential and monetary benefits.

    THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT, 2012

    In order to successfully take care with the wicked crimes of sexual assault and sexual exploitation of children through less ambiguous and larger demanding legal provisions, the Ministry of Women and Child Development championed the looks of the Protection children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, 2012.

    REALITY OF SEXUAL OFFENCES IN ASIAN NATION

    According to the National Crime Record Bureau and National Human Rights Commission for women in India:-

    • Every 26 minutes a woman is molested. 
    • Every 54 minutes a rape takes place.
    • Every 4 minutes a woman is burnt to death over dowry. 
    • Every 7 minutes a criminal offence against women takes place.
    • Caste and community based torture still continue.
    • Sexual harassment at workplace and even at home is on rise. 
    • Cases of child abuse and child rape are going and growing on.
    • Women atrocities through khap panchayat are becoming common news. 

    SEXUAL OFFENCES AGAINST MINORS

    • Child rape and ill-treatment are cases of perverse lust for sex. Even innocent children are not spared in pursuit of sexual pleasure. The crime rate of child abuse and rape is high in India, as a result, children are the most straightforward and approachable targets for offenders. 
    • They are too innocent that they need no plan of what is happening, and additionally incapable of resisting. In number of cases victims are either deaf and dumb, blind, mentally retarded, minor girls and abandoned children. They are exploited as “sex toys”.

    CAUSES OF SEX DELINQUENCY

    There are several causes due to which sex delinquency were caused, like due to intensity of sex needs, change in social structure and idea of nuclear family, losing hold on ancient norms and culture, deterioration within the standing of women because of wearing modest apparels, Poverty, Industrial development and urbanisation, Increasing population, obscenity in literature, films, media and social network, increasing pornography through web, influence of intoxicants, medication and different chemicals, superstitious beliefs regarding virginity and sex power, Desirability of wedding or disturbance in married life, Lack of sex education.

    PROCEDURAL COMPLICATIONS REGARDING SEXUAL OFFENCES

    Procedural Complications regarding sexual offences are many. There are no FIRs filed or if filed, there is delay in filing, there is terror of social stigma on the family reputation, fear of complaint regarding sexual offences, so many doubts relating to involvement of police, lake of sound evidence due to delay in investigation, hesitation for psychological examination, losing self assurance in judicial trial and cross examination, dissatisfaction from punishment to offenders, no rehabilitation of medical compensation for sufferers, misuse of regulation by selfish persons and encouraged women. 

    REMEDIAL MEASURES FOR PREVENTION OF SEX DELINQUENCY

    • Scientific work needs to be undertaken to discover the foundational reasons of sexual offences. 
    • Treatment with psychotherapy and research to manipulate intensity of sex desire.
    • Parents should be conscious and protect their children.
    • Sex education at school/college/university level. 
    • Women empowerment via self defence and recognition about protection.
    • Social movement to extract orthodox attitude of society.
    • Rescue houses and rescue group for protection of abandoned and missing children, with physically and mentally challenged girls or children.
    • Strict procedure for censorship of films, media, literature, and T.V. programs. 
    • Active vigilance of police to preserve a secure social surrounding and to make friendly and cooperative relationships with the public.

    PROCEDURAL CURATIVE MEASURES FOR PREVENTION OF SEX DELINQUENCY

    • There should be strict and powerful implementation of guidelines given through international conventions and by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgments. 
    • Social recognition by duly submitting an FIR within suitable time.
    • Psychological aid to the sufferers for complaining appropriately about the offence. 
    • Investigation needs to be focused on circumstantial evidence.
    • Strict implementation of all legal provisions and acts. 
    • There need be staunch prohibition on child labor due to the fact maximum of child Abuse and rape sufferers are in such labor groups. 
    • Ages now should no longer be considered of any juvenile offenders in case of heinous and brutal rape cases. 

    CONCLUSION

    From centuries both women and children have been counted as a “weaker sex”, like an enjoyment tool they had been used, abused, exploited, harassed and dealt. In India rape is the fourth most common crime against women. In India female is suffering from any kind of sexual harassment but they are not opposing this kind of behaviour and in maximum cases they are not going to report this unwelcomed behaviour and even not taking any strict legal action against them because in our society, rape and other sexual crimes are increasing and no actions are taken against such offenders.

    In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of cases being reported, thanks to the notice which was ready to be created through various training and awareness programs alongside NGOs and friends of the police. To enhance the conviction rate, it is important to hurry up both investigation and the trial in court so that the survivor is not anesthetized to show hostility. We all need to assume once more and attempt once more to refrain treating children as “sex toys”.

    REFERENCE

    [1]Varalika Mishra, “A rape in India every 15 minutes: government data”, https://asiatimes.com/2020/01/a-rape-in-india-every-15-minutes-government-data/, (Last Visited on September 05, 2020).

    [2]Madeeha Mujawar, “National Crime Records: One woman raped every 15 minutes in India“,  https://www-cnbctv18-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.cnbctv18.com/economy/national-crime-recordsone-woman-raped-every-15-minutes-in-india-4579141.htm/amp?amp_js_v=a6&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQHKAFQArABIA%3D%3D#aoh=16064571136767&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnbctv18.com%2Feconomy%2Fnational-crime-recordsone-woman-raped-every-15-minutes-in-india-4579141.htm, (Last Visited on September 05, 2020).

    [3] AIR 1997 SC 3011.


    BY SHANTI GUPTA | INDIAN INSTITUTE OF LEGAL STUDIES

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