“Silence gendered violence is woven intricately into the Indian social group; it is only fair to implement social awareness campaigns to assist raise awareness at the grass-root level.”
When a criminal offence is committed it is wrong against humanity at large. Every crime against an individual demonstrates the state’s failure to recognize, protect and fulfill its citizen’s human rights. Among one such crime is “Rape”. It is a deep-entrenched social blight. Rape is considered to be, one of the foremost flagitious crimes towards the individual and its individuality. The information for the study was collected, from the NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau) and GOI (Government of India), websites. Data on crimes in India are published annually by the National Crime Record Bureau. The research indicates that, whether the rape case significantly increases in all states, which age group women have been affected the most, and the place of rape victims in the Criminal Justice System of India.
The definition of crime has been dazzled everywhere these days. This concept has caused so much harm in society that it is often asked who is the perpetrator of this horrific act. The increasing rate of crime against women in India has been a big problem, faced by the government and its officials. It is very important to control the sexual violence, against the woman.
Sexual violence: The Global Scenario
A study by the World Health Organization (2005) suggests that one out of every five women have faced either rape or attempted rape, once in their lifetime. The study also describes that in Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States, 15% of the woman has faced the sexual violence, whereas South Africa was reported as the most vulnerable country, with 40% of the woman reported Violence.
Sexual Violence in India
The status of women in Indian society has witnessed a regular decline. The women of the pre-Vedic era got equal rights, and were treated equally as men, thereafter; the decline in the status of women in Indian society continues. The social and cultural structure of India has continuously subordinated women, and also the legal system has always considered women as weak and passive, which truly functions as a tool for the subordination of women. The patriarchal mindset forces woman into a gullible scenario, where they feel unsafe and vulnerable to their male counterparts.
Violence against women includes all kinds of gendered crimes like verbal abuse, sexual abuse, sexual assault and physical violence. Here within the current research paper, the focal point is to understand the factors of demographic factors and their influence on sexual violence against women. Amongst all forms of sexual violence, rape is taken into account as the foremost gendered aggressive act, towards the woman.
Stringent laws, rules, and regulations need to be incorporated as well as implemented with effective means in order to curb it completely from the society. Special commissions need to be set up in order to specifically look into such matters, the number of NGOs must be increased, the sole purpose must be to rehab and reform the rape victims. Awareness programs must be conducted in order to make people aware of the issues related to rape, mainly regarding the fact that it is merely gender-specific.
Local agencies and administrative divisions are implementing a number of community outreach campaigns to raise public awareness about this horrific crime. The research paper aims to find out the root causes of such heinous acts, legal perspective in the Indian Criminal Justice System.
The descriptive and secondary quantitative data-based analysis is conducted to understand the legal provision of rape victim’s entitlement to rights in India. The data collected is mostly from sources of various books, journals, articles, annual reports published by the government, and websites of different governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Rape is a worldwide crime that affects people of all ages, castes, religions, genders, and geographical locations. Rape crime is not only a human right or legal wrong, but it is also a medical emergency. Rape crime started to become more common over time. Many developing countries, especially in South Asia, are severely affected. In India, the first rape attack was reported on 26 March 1972. It was a Mathura rape case, Tukaram vs the State of Maharashtra, according to this case, a young tribal girl was allegedly raped by two policemen in Mathura on the compound of Desai Ganj police station. Researchers have noticed an increase in the number and intensity of rape cases in the country since then. In many countries, rape on women and children is a covert type of violence against women and children that often goes unreported, obscuring the true number of horrific attacks that occur.
The word ‘crime against women’ has become a “silent epidemic”, with more and more cases of rape, molestation, and statutory offense being reported from college campuses, while travailing and workplaces. “It’s a really serious issue, including legal, cultural, and psychological aspects. Across the world, women face the major crime of ‘rape and sexual harassment, etc. Globally, rape is very rarely reported by girls and women due to the acute social, religious, and caste stigma or the concern of rejection by their family members or subjected to violence and where premarital sex is illegal, or premarital sex can face prosecution before the laws. Rape is an infamously under-reported crime in India. Because victims of rape will face prosecution under the present laws, according to these laws they need to face protracted prosecution and investigation. If there’s not sufficient evidence to prove a rape inside the court they can’t get justice, even after they stepped in the court.
Rape cases are increasing day by day in major cities of India. Generally, people believe that the primary reason for rape is an aggressive desire to dominate the victim rather than an attempt to achieve sexual fulfillment. As rape is currently understood, a rapist or a victim could be an adult of either gender or a child. Though rape can occur in same-sex intercourse, it’s most often committed by a male against a female. There is also an increasing propensity to treat as rape an act of sexuality by a husband with his wife against her will and to consider forced prostitution and sexual slavery as a sort of rape.
The psychological motivations of rapists are more complicated than was formerly thought. They may include the desire to punish, to gain revenge, to cause pain, to prove sexual superior skill, and to control through fear. The psychological reactions of victims of rape also vary however, they usually include feelings of shame, humiliation, confusion, fear, and rage. The period of the psychological trauma varies from individual to individual; many feel the effects for years, even with substantially supportive therapy. In view of the great psychological damage it causes, many psychologists regard rape as a form of torture.
As the present study is confined solely to the crime of rape, the crime of rape is identified under the Sec 376 Indian Penal Code. Furthermore, the rape cases are categorized as Incest Rape (rape done by the blood relative) and other rape cases (rape done by other than the blood relative). Rape is one of the most awful crimes. It is foremost wrong violent incident committed against a woman. Rape causes not only physical torture to the body of the women victims her mental psychological, emotional and which a woman tends to suffer from a sense of shame for no fault hers has to bear the fear of being ostracized by society as well as her relatives, throughout her life.
REASONS WHY RAPE CASES ARE INCREASING IN INDIA
- Less number of female police can be one of the reasons for the sexual violence problem in India. Whenever a woman is being raped, she is more likely to report her case to a female police officer, but due to the lack of female officers in many states or villages women have to tell their problem to a male officer which makes them more uncomfortable.
- Blaming of indecent clothing- The Indian society somehow assumes that the victim’s sense of clothing has brought them to that state. This is the sad reality of the society which thinks that it was a fault of a woman or girl to wear short cloth and did not blame the person who committed the crime.
- No public safety- Women who go for a late-night job or go for late-night clubbing are seen as immoral in most of the Indian society and are the reason for being raped. If the public themselves think that this is only the reason for rape in India then women are not safe in this society. It is in the hand of the general public itself to stop crime and to prevent rape in India, if people will change their thinking and help each other to protect women from these social evils then only women will be safe in society.
- Discouragement of rape victims to compromise- None of the families in Indian society are ready to accept the fact that someone in their family has been raped and they often advise the victims to stay away from the haphazard caused after rape in the police station. This is the sole reason why most of the rapes are not even registered in India.
LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS CONCERNING RAPE IN INDIA
- Vishaka vs the State of Rajasthan– In this case, Bhanwari Devi was gang-raped by five men as she was preventing child marriage. She went to the trial court but the trial court acquitted all five accused. Later Vishakha a group for women education and research undertook the case of Bavaria Devi and filed a petition before the Supreme court for sexual harassment at the workplace. The Supreme Court held that the safety of women at the workplace is a must and convicted the five accused and gave a new definition of sexual harassment.
- R. vs Furroll– A 6-year-old child was raped but not hurt. However, after that incident, she suffered from gonorrhoea. In this case, it was held that the accused is guilty of committing rape.
- Premchand vs the State of Haryana– The judgement of the Supreme court, in this case, was heavily criticized by the public because the Supreme court, in this case, reduced the punishment of a hundred years for rape to 5 years. The review petition was also filed after that but it failed as the Supreme Court rightly justified their action by issuing an important statement.
- State of Maharashtra v. Madhukar – In this case, Madhukar was a police inspector who wanted to be physical with one girl and went to her hut. After the complaint was filed against that inspector, he got this dismissed. The high court took into account the fact that the woman was of easy virtue and passed judgement in favour of the inspector. The Supreme Court overruled this and said that any woman of easy virtue is entitled to her fundamental rights therefore the judgement was reversed.
- Sakshi v. Union of India– In this case, Sakshi and NGO filed a petition to redefine the meaning of rape. The law commission of India in 2000 changed part of the definition of rape. The term rape should be replaced by sexual assault and any form of penetration should be under the term sexual intercourse according to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.
- Nirbhaya case– It is the landmark case of 2013. The judgement of the Supreme court widened the definition of rape laws in this case. The Supreme court reviewing all the facts of the case gave a death sentence to four adults and sent the minor to reform for 3 years. Changed the definition will constitute rape when there is penetration in any women’s body part. The punishment of rape included a minimum of 20 years of imprisonment and death in extreme circumstances.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR RAPE CASE IN INDIA
Rape is a cognizable offence in India. There are so many provisions in different Acts for rape.
Section 375,376A,376B,376C and 376D of Indian Penal Code 1860. Section 53(1), 164A , 327(2)6 of Code of Criminal Procedure. Section 114-A  of Indian Evidence Act.
The term rape has been legally defined under Section 375 of Indian Penal Code 1860 as a man is said to commit a rape when there has been sexual intercourse with a woman in any of the following circumstances:
- Against her will.
- Without obtaining her consent.
- When the consent is obtained, that consent must not be done by putting the person in fear of death.
- When the consent has been obtained fraudulently by promising her to be husband in future.
- When the consent is given by a person who is of unsound mind or intoxicated or unable to understand the nature of giving the consent.
- When a girl is under 16 years of age, with or without her consent.
If any of the above conditions are met, rape is said to have been committed.
- Section 376 of IPC 1860 specifies the punishment for rape which is imprisonment of not less than seven years or which may extend to imprisonment for life and also fine.
- Section 376A mentions punishment in case of death for the persistent vegetative state of victims. The punishment for such circumstances is 20 years imprisonment which may extend to imprisonment for life.
- Section 376B mentions sexual intercourse by husband on wife during separation. The punishment for the same shall not be less than two years of imprisonment which may extend to seven years and fine.
- Section 376C mentions the punishment for sexual intercourse by persons in authority which is imprisonment for not less than 6 years which may extend to 10 years and a fine.
- 376D states when there has been any gang rape, punishment for the same shall be not less than or 20 years of imprisonment which may extend to life imprisonment and fine.
Other related provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure state the provisions for medical examination of the rape victim and mandatory camera trial for all the rape victims, etc.
The current study, focused on the different major factors and their association with the rape cases, reported in the different regions of India. The three demographic variables are taken into consideration, in this study which are rape cases by age group, rape victims reported by state wise, the total number of cases reported per year, and the conviction rate. These are the different demographic variables and their association with reporting rape cases in the country. The whole country is divided into six regions the six regions are respectively north, east, west, south, central, and northeast. All twenty-nine states and seven union territories have been categorized in six above mentioned regions. The data for the rape cases reports were collected from the Government of India’s official websites and the National Crime Record Bureau’s (NCRB) website.
However, it is a fact that reporting of crime tends to be incomplete, particularly the crimes against children and women, for obvious reasons. The causative factors or reasons for incidents of crimes are not being captured by the Bureau. NCRB, only police recorded crime cases are being captured. However, NCRB to make the statistical analysis more meaningful, they have calculated Crime Rate based on the population of that segment only.
There are more than 1,45,000 Rape cases that were pending trial in Indian Court by end-2019. Out of over 32,000 reported victims in 2019, about 15 percent of the victims are children.
It is evident that girls from the age group of 18-30 years are most vulnerable and most crimes happen against them. The organizations, institutions, and society need to become more aware, of the woman of this age group and should provide proactively, more security to them.
The result shows the trend of rape cases significantly increases during the last decade in India. The study clearly depicts that the incident of rape reporting and raping rate also increased between 2012-2013, even after the criminal amendment, Act, 2013, which was Indian legislation passed the bill related to sexual offences (Nirbhaya act-2013).
The recent incident proves that the execution of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case had no effect on criminals. When the execution take place, it was assumed that it would send a strong message to perpetrators of such crimes, but the recent incidents have proved it otherwise.
Even the cases are increasing rapidly, the conviction rate is very low for the rape case. It shows a lack of judicial or law system in the country.
On average, 88 rapes take place every day in India, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for 2019. However, the conviction rate is as low as 27.8%. This means, out of 100 accused, only 28 get convicted. The NCRB data reveal the rate of crimes against women increased from 58.8 in 2018 to 62.4 in 2019.
The NCRB figures assume significance as it also shows that in many cases, victims don’t approach the police complaining about the rape or sexual assault.
Expressing concern over the low conviction rate, even the Supreme Court had observed that 90% of rape cases end in acquittal.
The below table shows the number of rape cases in India in 2019 from all the state levels, the following data is collected by (National Crime Record Bureau).
CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS
Rape is the most brutal form of violence one can ever imagine happening to him or her. These violent acts are reported all over the world and mostly in parts of South Asia, though the formulation of several laws and reforms with regard to rape can be seen as a positive sign, still, there’s a lot to be done and a long way to go for effective implementation of law and to eradicate this problem. In the Indian community generally, women have underreported their abuse i.e. domestic abuse, rape because they feel embarrassed, guilty and family social status because they wish to protect their perpetrators with whom they may have a relationship. Victims also have been feared such responses as terror incredulity and outright rejection. For controlling such kind of abuse on women in society; there is one major problem in the society is the imbalance of sex ratio. To create awareness about girl’s child protection and also have equal rights as males do. Provide equal opportunity for males and females in the society and respect girls/women. The research was conducted to assess the position of the rape victims in today’s criminal justice system as compared to the earlier, also to find out the loopholes present in the new changes as well. Paper presented the views with regard to the criminal justice system of India. In order to stop crime against women, the study has suggested some policymakers to the government, NGOs, and social communities. Our constitution will provide a large number of protective laws to prevent and control crimes against women. Therefore, mass media should play an important role to create legal, social awareness amongst young men and women through catchy programmes. Society should also work on reshaping its perspective, towards young women, and they should be provided more security and proper attention towards them. The government should also impose a severe punishment and the tediousness of the trial procedure must be reduced in order to prevent the perpetrators from taking advantage of it.
- https://ncrb.gov.in/sites/default/files/crime_in_india_table_additional_table_chapter_reports/Table%203A. 3_2.pdf