You need to know about Section 375 of the Indian Constitution

You need to know about Section 375 of the Indian Constitution

Section 375 of IPC pertains to the criminal offense of raping 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."

Definition of rape

Section 375 defines a sexual offense as rape if it falls under the categories given under.

1. If the act happened against the will of the victim.

2. The said act was performed without the consent of the subject.

3. Performed with her consent, provided her consent was got by putting the subject or any person who is important to her in fear of hurt or death.

4. Performed with her consent, when the man is aware that he is not the subject’s husband, and that she had given her consent under the belief that he is another man to whom she is or believes to have lawfully married.

5. If the act happened with her consent when she was under unsound mind or under intoxication or the administration to him either personally or through someone else or through some stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is not in a position to understand the nature and consequences of the act to which she had consented.

6. With or without the subject’s consent, when the subject is under sixteen years of age. Penetration alone is sufficient to constitute the act of sexual intercourse that can be considered as an offense of rape.

Definition of consent under Section 375

Consent can be defined as a clear and voluntary communication given by a woman for a given sexual act. As long as the woman is above the age of 18, marital rape is a clear exception to giving consent since marital rape is not a crime under the Indian Penal Code.

Exceptions to Section 375

The act will not be considered as a sexual assault if a man has sexual intercourse with his own wife who is aged above 18.

Amendment made to Section 375

The Parliament of India passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 also called as the Nirbhaya Act, in order to make a significant amendment to Section 375. This measure was meant to rule out the ambiguity that existed in the earlier law and created room for strict punishment during the occurrences of the rarest cases of sexual violence. As part of this amendment, the ambiguity that existed in the earlier law was addressed and room was created for giving strict punishment in case of the rarest cases of sexual violence. The legislation was altered to define acts such as penetration of penis into vagina, urethra, anus or mouth, or any other object or any other body part to any extent into a woman’s body parts (or facilitating any other person do it), to constitute the offence of sexual assault. The amendment also classified acts such as applying mouth or touching the private parts as offences of sexual assault.