What constitutes rape in section 375 IPC

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

Article | Criminal Law

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According to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), rape is defined as sexual intercourse with a woman against her will, without her consent, or with her consent obtained by fraud or under coercion. The section defines the following acts as constituting rape:

  1. A man committing sexual intercourse with a woman against her will, or without her consent.
  2. A man committing sexual intercourse with a woman who is unable to give consent, such as one who is unconscious, mentally ill, or below the age of 18.
  3. A man committing sexual intercourse with a woman who has consented to the act, but the consent was obtained by fraud, misrepresentation or deceit.
  4. A man committing sexual intercourse with a woman who has consented to the act, but the consent was obtained under coercion, threat or intimidation.
  5. A public servant committing sexual intercourse with a woman in his custody or a woman in a hospital, jail or any other institution, where she is detained or under the custody of the public servant.
  6. A man committing sexual intercourse with his own wife who is below 15 years of age.

It is important to note that the definition of rape in the IPC applies to non-consensual sexual intercourse, and also sexual intercourse with a woman below the age of 18, and with a woman who is unable to give consent. It is a criminal offense that is punishable by imprisonment for a minimum of seven years, and can be extended to life imprisonment.

In summary, Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) defines rape as sexual intercourse with a woman against her will, without her consent, or with her consent obtained by fraud or under coercion. The section lists the following acts as constituting rape: sexual intercourse with a woman against her will, without her consent, with a woman who is unable to give consent, with a woman who has consented to the act obtained by fraud, misrepresentation or deceit, with a woman who has consented obtained under coercion, threat or intimidation, by a public servant with a woman in his custody or a woman in a hospital, jail or any other institution, where she is detained or under the custody of the public servant and with his own wife who is below 15 years of age.

Consent is a crucial ingredient in determining whether sexual activity constitutes rape. Without consent, sexual activity is considered non-consensual and can be classified as sexual assault or rape.

Consent is defined as a freely given agreement to engage in sexual activity. It means that all parties involved have voluntarily and enthusiastically agreed to participate in the activity. Consent can be verbal or nonverbal, but it must be clear and ongoing throughout the activity. It also means that consent can be withdrawn at any point, and that a person who is incapacitated, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or below the age of consent, is not capable of giving their full consent.

When consent is not given, or when it is obtained through fraud, coercion, or manipulation, the sexual activity is considered non-consensual. This can include situations where a person is forced to engage in sexual activity against their will, or where they are not capable of giving their full consent due to their mental or physical state.

It is important to note that consent is not just a legal concept, but also a moral one. Consent is about respecting the autonomy and agency of others and understanding that every person has the right to control their own body and make decisions about their own sexuality.

In summary, consent is the key ingredient of rape, without consent, sexual activity is considered non-consensual and can be classified as sexual assault or rape. Consent is defined as a freely given agreement to engage in sexual activity, it means that all parties involved have voluntarily and enthusiastically agreed to participate in the activity, consent can be verbal or nonverbal.

Consent must be clear and ongoing throughout the activity, and can be withdrawn at any point. It is also important to understand that consent is not just a legal concept, but also a moral one. Consent is about respecting the autonomy and agency of others and understanding that every person has the right to control their own body and make decisions about their own sexuality.