OFFENCES AGAINST HUMAN BODY
Author: Kavya Jhawar
Humans, who claim to be the only intelligible species on this earth, feel they have humanity amongst them but the fact is that the humans in 21st century are the ones who do not have a humanistic approach; they are self-centered. They think only about themselves and can go to any extent to achieve what they want; even harming the other person.
There are categorically many offences mentioned as Offences Against Human Body which includes but is not limited to-
- Culpable Homicide,
- Dowry Death,
- Various kinds of hurt,
- Kidnapping- Abduction,
- Wrongful restraint and confinement,
- Unnatural offences etc.
There are series of offences listed in the Indian Penal Code and various laws of the other nations.
Offences against the human body is not only committed in India but in major countries of the world.
Murder is considered to be most gruesome amongst all the crimes. It is not a gender-biased crime and the victims of murder can be male, female or transgender. It takes place due to the number of reasons starting from insecurity to taking revenge.
‘Murder’ basically means if a person does some act of which he is sure that the person on whom such an act is forwarded, will die as a result; which means death is a surety. So an act with a surety of death is Murder.
CASE: SHREEDHARAN v. STATE OF KERALA
Where the accused several times kicked the deceased, who after having been severely beaten fell down senseless, it was held that he was guilty of murder as he must have known that such kicks were likely to cause the death of the deceased.
The word ‘act’ includes omission as well. Any omission by which death is caused will be punishable as if the death is caused directly by an act.
CASE: RAJU DAS v. STATE OF RAJASTHAN
Where the person neglected to provide the child with proper sustenance although repeatedly warned of the consequences and the child died as a result, it was held to be a murder.
Generally, people either commit the murder of a person whom they have known for long or an XYZ person crossing them. It completely depends on their mental stability so the persons investigating them should provide a psychologist to do an in-depth reading of the mind of criminal because we as a society should know why the persons are committing a crime, what are the reasons that provoke them to commit such a heinous crime as such they are the members of same society so what makes them turn delinquent? Major reasons for a person committing murder are revenge, ego, jealousy greed, power, Fear (of losing one’s or someone else’s life, of one’s secrets being exposed, of one’s interests being harmed), Low Socio-Economical status (primitive instincts are, comparatively, more concentrated in people with such status) &Psychological disorders.
It is not just that male and female-only are the victims of Murder but the transgender community is also to some extent in all this- they are both sometimes the victim and sometimes the offender.
In 2016, advocates tracked at least 23 deaths of transgender people in the United States due to fatal violence, the most ever recorded for that year. These victims were killed by acquaintances, partners, and strangers. Some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias. In others, the victim’s transgender status may have put them at risk in other ways, such as forcing them into homelessness. While the details of these cases differ, it is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare and other necessities, barriers that make them vulnerable. Sadly, 2017 has seen at least 28 transgender people fatally shot or killed by other violent means.
The Government is trying to control the situation to its best but is not able to completely stop it. This is somewhere because of the lack of implementation of law in countries to some extent and people know the loopholes of their respective systems that help them to come out easily. Hence though there are laws governing them, the strict implementation should be ensured.
KIDNAPPING & ABDUCTION
Kidnapping and Abduction are some of the categories of crimes against the human body. It is practiced against male, female or transgender. They are prevalent not only in India but in every part of the world.
‘Kidnapping’ means to unlawfully and forcibly take and carry away a person.
- For example, if A takes B without his consent or without B’s lawful guardian’s consent to Pakistan, A would be committing the offence of Kidnapping.
‘Abduction’ means when force is applied in taking someone. It means compelling a person, or to induce him to go from where he is to another place
There is a thin line of difference between kidnapping and abduction.
The persons are kidnapped or abducted and later on exported to other places. Such people, later on, are forced to beg on the street or forced into prostitution.
Even the girls of a poor family, from Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, are also kidnapped and subjected to various forms of violence from child labour to child abuse.
CASE: TIKAM V. STATE OF U.P
Three accused persons were charged for kidnapping a child. The child was recovered from the custody of another person. The other person from whom the child was recovered had knowledge that the child was a kidnapped child, hence they were held liable.
Mostly, children are abducted for trafficking in illegal activities.
Many acts have been passed specially to prevent the children but then here also the law fails and the practice of Kidnapping and Abduction is prevalent. Strict enforcement of laws should be ensured.
This is essentially a crime that happens against a woman. Dowry is essentially a crime that has been prevalent in Indian society for hundreds of years and in spite of many steps taken this evil till now is not completely eradicated.
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, “Dowrymeans money and property brought into a marriage by a bride.”
Dowry is the main reason which has resulted in female foeticide and infanticide. Since centuries the death of many unborn girls has taken place because of dowry.
Dowry death means when the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury within 7 years of marriage not under natural circumstances rendering a great suspicion who is the offender of such a crime.
Dowry is a serious threat to society as it has resulted in many women either committing suicide as such they cannot handle such torture and stress or else they are killed by the in-laws and later it is forged into an accident. Though Indian Penal Code section 304B punishes the person for committing dowry death which is not less than 7 years but which may extend to life imprisonment, this has not helped the nation to solve the problem of dowry.
Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 has also been passed to protect the evil of dowry.
According to one data, a women becomes the victim of dowry death every one hour in India. Dowry death happens but now within the 4 walls of the house which protects the offender.
Hence, strict vigilance and law enforcement is required to check on these laws.
According to the Black’s Law Dictionary, “RAPE is defined as having sex with a person without their permission (such as if they are sleeping or unconscious) or forcing them to have sex against their consent.”
IPC does not define consent in positive terms but what cannot be regarded as consent is explained by Section 90 which reads as ‘consent given firstly under fear of injury and secondly under a misconception of fact is not consent at all.’
Rape has been a serious menace in today’s era. A hell lot of rape cases are being heard in India the recent being raping and murder of an eight-year-old girl, Asifa whose death once again united the whole nation to fight for a common cause. Earlier the nation was united to fight for the Nirbhaya Gang rape case.
The crime of rape is considered a serious offence against the human body, especially against females. The female who becomes the victim of rape feels shame, regret, have suicidal tendencies and she is believed to bring dishonour to the family; she keeps herself locked in the 4 walls of the house.
It is the society because of which the rape victims are unable to boost themselves. The concept of ‘Victim Blaming’ is very much prevalent in Indian society though steps are taken to eradicate it. According to this concept, people blame the victim for her rape rather than the perpetrator. Society passes such comments, “Why was the girl out of the house after 10”, “Why was she wearing such a short dress”, “What was she doing at such a place where people don’t usually go”, “She might have asked for” etc. Such remarks of the society accuses the woman of her rape rather than the actual accused. Rape is Rape and nothing can justify rape. Even if the perpetrator was drunk and then raped a woman cannot justify his committing rape.
Sexual violence apart from being a dehumanizing act is an unlawful intrusion in the right to privacy and sanctity of women.
Steps have been taken by the Supreme Court to eradicate the menace of dowry by passing various landmark judgments-
CASE : SIRIYA v. STATE OF M.P.
In this case, a 13-year-old girl was raped by her own father. The SC held that if the protector becomes the violator, punishment needs to be increased.
Even if the accused rapes a prostitute or woman of easy virtue, he cannot take the defense that the woman being of loose character, he can rape her as her consent was implied. Even the woman of loose character or prostitute can also file complain of rape.
CASE : STATE OF MAHRASHTRA v. MADHUKAR NARAIN
In this case, a police officer went to the house of the victim; she is a woman of easy virtue, he asked her to have sex with him but she denied. When he forced her, she shouted and people from nearby came. In the court, the officer said that as she was a woman of easy virtue, her statement should not be relied on but then held him guilty.
“A murderer kills the body but a rapist kills the soul.”- Hon’ble Mr. Justice Krishna Iyer
In spite of so many provisions made for a woman to save them from sexual violence still, it is going up the scale rather than coming down.
The ruling Government 2 days back passed an ordinance after the gruesome Asifa rape case; how much this ordinance will be successful is yet to be known.
Every coin has two sides
The rape provisions are made very stringent for protecting the girls but in recent times it has come out that women are misusing the provisions.
There must come an amendment that equalizes the burden of proof on both sides and the law works smoothly. It should be such that contradicts the statement i.e. “Law is there for vigilant.”
Crimes are committed in every part of the world and there is not a single country that is crime-free. Countries still have to struggle to bring a complete stoppage on crimes against the human body because humans are having emotions and in the course of their life various emotions such as revenge, jealousy, ego are expected to crop up and because of all this they commit a crime.
After a person commits a crime he should not be punished but we as a society should believe in a reformative approach rather than a punitive approach; we should understand the person’s nature, the reason he turned delinquent and the other factors connected thereto to understand why the person committed a crime. Once the reasons are to be known, steps should be taken to reform the person and make him a better citizen so that he can adjust himself in society according to the people’s expectations. We all know of the stringent laws like death penalty or life imprisonment in cases of murder, rape and like; in spite of such provisions being there people commit a crime which means legislations have failed to stop the people from committing a crime. Hence I believe-
“REFORMATION OF OFFENDER IS THE NEED OF HOUR.”
If they are provided with proper reformation at least out of 10- 5 can be helpful to society in some way and this is the biggest achievement of us as a society.”
 IPC Section 300
 1995 (2) ALT Cri 598, 1995 CriLJ 1782
 Appeal (crl.) 664 of 2007
 ( 1992 CRLJ 1381)
 IPC Section 304B
Criminal Appeal No. 870 OF 2008(Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 8138 of 2007)
 AIR 1991 SC 207