Anti Rape Laws in India : A Review

In the year 2012 according to the statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 24,923 reported rape cases with a further increase of 3.0 percent in the number of cases over 2011. This increasing trend in the incidence of rape has reinforced the statement made by Navi Pillay, the United Nations Human Rights Chief, that acts of sexual violence against women is a national problem in India. Rape and sexual assault have been defined and dealt with under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code. This paper seeks to discuss the extent of efficiency of the above laws in the fulfillment of their main objective. It discusses various reasons as to why it might not have been completely successful in this venture. It explores the possibility of existing lacunae in the laws and suitability for the present context. Another key issue is the existence of a proper implementation mechanism without which the law is nothing but empty words on a piece of paper. The role of institutions like the judiciary and police are of critical importance. Above all an important but often conveniently forgotten issue is the way in which the victim is treated throughout the whole process right from the investigation procedure to the court room trial. In the globalized world rape is viewed as a crime against the personal integrity and autonomy of the person and not as an attack on her family’s honour. In this context, this paper analyses the sensitivity of the judicial system towards the victim and the existence of a support system for the victim. To complete the review the paper attempts to give a quick assessment of the Criminal Law Amendment Act passed by the Indian Parliament on 21st March, 2013.

Author(s): Apoorva Ramaswamy | Posted on: 12 Jan 2016

Address: Hidayaullah National Law University, Uparwara Post, Abhanpur, New Raipur, Chhattisgarh 492002, India.

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