Rape – The Heinous Crime Amongst All Crimes

Rape is the most heinous crime amongst all crimes that takes place in India. Rape is sexual violence that takes place against women in India. Rape not only hurts the soul of women at the point of crime taking place but it also hurts women socially, physically and mentally. After the crime has takes place women not only have bad life ahead but also they have to hear harsh words about her character and dressing sense of women by the society. Not only, women but the victim’s family have to hear words from the society but the education of the family is also questioned by the society.

The best thing is that the society always raises questions against the character of the rape victim but the rapists are not questioned. After the crime has taken place the society does not let the victim to stay peacefully in society rather they have to face the harsh words of the society.

The question that arises that why only women are questioned and why men are not questioned?

INTRODUCTION

“Most men fear of getting laughed at or humiliated by a romantic prospect while most women fear rape and death.”

Most of the crimes that are committed in the society but there is one of the crime that is the most heinous crime that is committed in the society and that is RAPE. More than that worse thing is that the victims are blamed for being raped. Women are blamed for being irresponsible for the dressing sense which they have. It is said that women are blamed for being raped and rapists are not held responsible for the crime which they have committed. The suffering of the rape victims does not end after the act but the sufferings continue for a longer period of time like haunting dreams and slowly unwillingness to live. The rape victims tend to commit suicide after the heinous act.

Rape is basically sexual intercourse without the consent of women as per section 375 and section 376 of Indian Penal Code.

The fact is that rape is a crime that is done openly and unashamedly, it is violation of women’s body, mind and soul.

Rape also leads to violation of human rights against women which is addressed under Gender Based Violation (GBV). There are various forms of GBV like sexual violence, domestic violence, physical violence, economic violence and emotional violence.

LEGAL FRAME WORK OF RAPE

As per section 375 of Indian Penal Code “RAPE” is a situation in which a man is said to commit “rape” who except case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman in circumstances falling under any of the six following description:-

  1. Against her will
  2. Without her consent
  3. With her consent but when her consent is under an undue influence.
  4. With her consent when woman believes that the man is her husband but in reality he is not her husband.
  5. With her consent at the time of giving such consent by the reason of unsoundness of mind, or intoxication or other substance that she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the consent which she is giving.
  6. With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.

However there is an exception that if there is sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, not being under fifteen years of age, then it is not rape.

Rape was witnessed in Asifa Bano [1]case

Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India. The per captia rates of rape in India is the lowest rate for a very simple reason that there are many rape cases in India which goes unrecorded. In India a consensual sex given on a false promise of marriage is constituted as rape.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau 2015 statistics, in Madhya Pradesh has the highest raw number of rape reports among the Indian states.

The Government of Indian to reform the Indian Penal Code for crimes of rape and sexual assault because of the willingness to report the rape cases has increased leading to widespread media attention and triggered public protest.

The accused men or culprits are given seven years imprisonment which might extend to life imprisonment.

GANG RAPE AND MARITAL RAPE WITH EXCEPTION

Gang rape is the aggravated form or the type of rape under Indian Penal Code. In this more than one man with same intentions of raping women is treated as gang rape. It is the crudest and extreme form of male chauvinism. Gang rapes especially by criminals have turned into the most common crimes in India and criminals feel proud in doing so. It is one of the serious crimes and punishment is imprisonment for 10 years but it can be extended to life imprisonment.

Gang was witnessed in Nirbhaya[2] case

Marital rape refer to unwanted intercourse by man on his wife obtained by force, threat of force or physical violence or when she is unable to give consent.

There are three kinds of marital rapes they are:-

  1. Force only rapes – the husband only uses enough force to coerce the wife to intercourse.
  2. Battering rapes – the women is raped and simultaneously battered by her husbands like beaten, shoved, slapped and pushed.
  3. Obsessive rape – these involve torture and/or perverse sexual acts.

However there is an exception that if there is sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, not being under fifteen years of age, then it is not rape.

In order to constitute the offence of rape wife must be less than the age of 12 years. If wife is between the age of 12 years and 15 years, crime is committed which is less heinous then it attracts mild punishment. However when the wife attains the age of 15 years then the husband is allowed to have a control of his wife’s body and have  sexual intercourse with her and in this case it does not account to rape.

KATHUA RAPE CASE

Kathua rape case refers to abduction, rape and murder of an 8 year old girl named ASIFA BANO. She stayed with her parents in the village Rasanga near Kathua in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Asifa belonged to nomad Bakarwal community.

She had disappeared just one week before her body was found by the villagers and that too her body was discovered few kilometres away from the village. This case had got national importance and charges were filed against eight men in April 2018. They are:-

  1. Sanji Ram who was a priest in a private temple where incident took place
  2. Deepak Khajuria who was a police officer
  3. Tilak Raj who was a head constable
  4. Arvind Dutta who was a sub inspector
  5. Parvesh Kumar who was a police officer
  6. Vishal who was son of Sanji Ram
  7. A juvenile who was nephew of Sanji Ram

An FIR was lodged by Asifa Bano’s father stating that her daughter has gone missing on 12 January 2018 while she was grazing horses. She was last seen at 2PM but when the horses returned by 4PM she had gone missing. A week later her dead body was found a few Kilometres away from village by few villagers. The body was taken under police custody for autopsy.

The body was subsequently sent for autopsy and the forensic report stated that Asifa Bano was drugged by sedatives and she was raped multiple times by a group of men. It was mentioned that Asifa Bano was gang raped by a group of men before she was murdered. The report also stated that she was not only strangled to death but also was hit by a heavy stone.

The accused men were arrested which led to protests by Panthers Party, along with local groups. One of the protests in support of accused, was attended by two ministers of Bhartiya Janata Party and later on these two ministers resigned.

This case not only triggered media but also many public protests for the justice for Asifa Bano and as well as in protests for supporting the accused. The Delhi High Court has issued an order against twelve media houses in India for revealing the identity of the rape victim and using the images of the victim. The fine amounted to rupees 10 lakhs and that too the fine was supposed to be paid within a week’s time.

NIRBHAYA CASE

Nirbhaya rape case was also stated as Delhi gang rape case.

A 23 year old woman was returning with one of his male friend late night after watching movie in Saket mall. On the way back they had boarded a bus from Munirka around 9:30PM. The bus already had few men as passenger and there was a driver and conductor. The driver had switched off the lights of the bus and the driver drove the bus.

They did not stop anywhere and the woman was dragged behind the bus and was brutally gang raped by the men which were already present in the bus. The woman was not only raped but was brutally beaten up with the help of iron rod. Not only woman suffered all this but her male friend was also badly beaten up by those men. Woman was a strong lady when she was being raped by those men she had tried her best to protect her, she had bit three men on their hands in self defence. But unfortunately that was not sufficient. One of the rapists had pulled her intestines out of her body.

Then the couple was thrown on the road that too half naked, and the bus driver even tried to kill them by driving bus on them however that was not possible. The bus was then cleaned by rapists in order to hide the evidence. On the other hand the victims were taken to Safdurjung Hospital in Delhi for treatment. The case was handled by Delhi police and that too very beautifully and with utmost care.

The male victim did not undergo any surgeries rather the male victim was only bruised. However, female victim was in a critical condition and she had to undergo several surgeries (around 5) but even after surgeries she was stable but in a critical condition. In the surgeries most of her intestines were removed and for transplantation she was referred to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

On her way to Singapore she had a cardiac arrest in the plane, so the doctor tried best to keep her conscious and was successful however her condition was critical. She was admitted in Mount Elizabeth Hospital and there it was stated that her condition is critical and it is deteriorating day by day. On 29 December she died.

There were six men that were present in the bus (mentioned above) that were involved in gang rape and they were arrested by Delhi police in short period of time. The men that were involved in the gang rape of the victim are as follows:-

  1. Ram Singh who was owner of the bus and had a bad temper and quarrels with employees.
  2. Mukesh Singh
  3. Vinay Kumar
  4. Pawan Kumar
  5. Akshay Thakur
  6. A juvenile named X

They were convicted for rape, murder, kidnapping, robbery and assault.

It was reported that Ram Singh had committed suicide in the cell itself as he was guilty during the trial of the case. The remaining four convicts were given death sentence on 5 May 2017. Juvenile convict served the maximum imprisonment of 3 years when the heinous crime took place.

This case had not only got Delhi Police and best medical team attention but also the media and the public were triggered when the case came in front. This case had shaken up the entire society and humanity was questioned after this came in front. There were many public protests that took place seeking justice for the rape victim who was given a name Nirbhaya. The protesters also had a clash with Delhi police officers. They also battled Rapid Action Force just for one thing that is nothing but justice for Nirbhaya. After death of the female victim the protesters carried candles and wore black dresses and protested in Jantar Mantar in Delhi. These protesters also faced small clashes with police and later on the crowd was removed by Delhi Police.

ARUNA SHANBAUG CASE

Aruna shanbaug[3] rape case was one of the oldest rape case that came forward. Aruna shanbaug a junior nurse in KEM Hospital in Mumbai was raped by a contracted sweeper, Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki. She was in a critical state for around 40 years because she was choked with a dog chain. She was completely bed ridden for 40 years. Her euthanasia plea was rejected by Supreme Court in 2011 however after her death passive euthanasia was permitted in India.

UBER RAPE CASE

The Uber rape [4]case is of a  27 year old woman was returning home in a Uber cab in Delhi. She was raped and by her driver when she dozed off on the backseat of the cab. When she got up she found herself in a molesting state and the driver threatened to kill her. The woman was raped by the driver in cab. Later on she lodged a complaint against the driver. The driver was arrested by the police from Mathura. During the investigation it was found that the driver had acquired fake character certificate to get a job as a driver in Uber.

DELAYS IN DELIVERING JUSTICE

There is delay faced in delivering justice to the rape victims. The main reasons for delay in delivering justice to the rape victims are as follows:-

1. LOW REPORTINGS

One of the major delay in delivering justice to rape victims is low reporting. There are many unreported rape cases which do now come in front due to societal pressures. The victims do not get justice. But this not the end, there are cases which are reported but still the reported victims do not get justice and sometimes there is delay in delivering justice. The reason is that the raped cases that are reported either the report is not up to mark that is the questions or the main details are not properly stated or the rape victims feel shy and embarrassed to answer the delicate questions to the male police officers.

2. MEDICAL EXAMINTAION

The rape victims have to undergo medical examination. This is the first stage of investigation of a rape case. The medical examination is done to rule out the possibility that there are false allegations.

In India around 80 percent of the rape cases face delay in delivering of justice because the accused men are acquitted of delay in medical examination of rape victims leading to no proper evidence against the accused men.

Sometimes victims are kidnapped in order to stop the victim from going through the medical examination so that no evidence is found against the accused person.

WHY LOW REPORTINGS?

It is stated that there are delays in delivering justice to rape victims is due to low reporting. But the question arises that why are there low reporting?

As per the study the main reasons for low reporting is loop hole in law and pressure from other party.

Loop hole in law basically refers to the situation where the Police is not ready to do investigation for the rape cases. The police officers are not keen in doing investigation for the rape cases that are reported. This is because the police officers are not interested to do efforts by inquiring the victims and accused people. This leads to lack of crime details and there is no proper filing of complaint by the rape victims. This leads to delay in justice to rape victims.  This in turn have a negative impact on other rape victims as they see that there is delay in delivering justice to other rape victims so the same lines the other victims are not keen in reporting the cases as the police officers are not keen in investigating. This is the main reason for low reporting.

The other main reason for low reporting is there is pressure from opposite parties on the police officers. The other parties scare or threaten the police officers who tend to investigate the case. Whenever a rape case is reported and due to pressure on police officers there are no investigation done for the rape case. This is the main reason that rape victims are not interested in filing rape case against the opposite party that are more powerful. This is the reason for low reporting.

EFFECTS OF RAPE

As said earlier, rape victims have to face physical pain due to rape but rape victims also face psychological trauma. The rape victims do not get any concern from the society rather they are rejected from the society they are questioned, they are humiliated and have to hear harsh words from the society. On seeing all this and facing all this rape victims feel again victimized but now by the society. This is the worse fact but it’s the reality. The rape also leads to AIDS epidemic. In other words the women’s life is spoilt at the time crime takes place.

Rape victim’s family also have to face the humiliation of the society and their education is also questioned. Society questions that why family gave so much of liberty and family being irresponsible upon the dressing sense of the victim which attracts other men.

FAKE REPORTINGS

We have already discussed that there are many unreported cases and the main reason for this low reporting is social stigma. Women tend not to file any case about the rape crime because of the harassment they have to face in police station during the investigation. But the police have no option but to investigate the case and present the final charge sheet within a span of 60 days, and if they fail to do so then they have to file a report stating delay in presenting the charge sheet.

Well this is the scene for the rape cases that have been filed. There are many cases which go unreported but let’s not discuss about those situations. The other situation that arises is that there are many cases which are fake cases. In other words women file sexual harassment or attempt to rape cases which are fake in reality. There are some women that use their rights in a wrong manner and file fake cases against someone.

Understanding the prevalence of false reporting is a complicated terminology that is often inaccurate and exact definition of false reporting varies from state to state but in short or crisp of the term false reporting is:-

False accusation of rape or fake reporting is the reporting of a rape where no rape has occurred.

The main cases of false accusation are:

1. LIES

This is the main reason for false accusation. The accuser might have much motivational intent for accusing someone in rape charges. One of the major intention could be money. The other reason could be revenge, there are many cases filed in order to revenge from the person accused.

There are many victims to tend to seek attention and in order to seek attention from a particular individual even then false cases are filed. Last reason is mentally unstable that is there are many mentally unstable people who hallucinate about attempt to rape even then false rape cases are filled.

2. DONT KNOW

20% of accuser claim that they do not have a valid reason for filling rape case against accused person. [5]

It does not mean that all the reporting are fake or false reporting. There are many cases which are baseless. Here baseless reporting means those reporting which are determined that the incidents do not meet with the elements of crime, but it is presumed to be truthful.

IMPACT OF FALSE REPORTING

When there is false reporting by the accuser against anyone, once it is found out that it was false reporting done by the accuser in that situation the case is closed and the police department have to file a report stating about false reporting.

What about the accused people? The trials and investigation take lot of time, in the mean time the accused person is under police custody and the accused are tortured while the investigation is being preceded. Later in the case it is found out that the case was a false reporting. But the years or months of the accused is spoilt. What about them?

There must be some provisions for the accused people who have actually not done anything wrong. The court should provide certain reliefs to the falsely accused people.

CONCLUSION

According to the study I would like to conclude that the status of women should be raised so that they do not face any humiliations and the rapes do not take place. The women protection Act should be more influenced and women must be aware about their rights and take actions for self protection.

There is a need to improve law in order to protect women from the rapists. Women should be taught some skills for self defence. Men should be taught how to respect women and not to treat them as an object and use women as per their needs.

Many rape victims withdraw their cases due to delay in justice or due to the humiliations faced by them at the police department but the victims should be strong enough to face all this in order to get justice and the accused be punished. The society should also support the victims in order to get justice.

[1]  January 2018

[2]  Nirbhaya case 2017 SCC OnLine SC 533

[3] AIR 1973

[4]  AIR December 2014

[5]  De Zutter et al. (2017)

This article is authored by Soumya Swaroop, student of B.A. LL.B (Hons) at Manipal University, Jaipur

Also Read – Acid Attack And The Scenario In India

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