Offenses against Women

Author : Aeshita Marwah, University of Petroleum & Energy Sciences.

As stated in Rigveda and other scriptures, ancient Indian women maintained a high level of respect in society. The standing of our ladies and their heroic actions from the Vedic period to present times may be recorded in volumes. However, later on, women lost their prestige and were consigned to the background because of social, political, and economic developments. There were many harmful conventions and traditions in which women were oppressed and attached to the limits of the family.[1]

Official figures reflect a falling sexual relationship, health status, literacy rates, employment participation rates, and women’s political engagement. In contrast, societal problems such as deaths by dowry, the marriage of children, domestic violence, rape, and sexual harassment are widespread in many areas of India. Over the course of years, there has been increasing humiliation, rape, abduction, abuse, dowry deaths, torture, woman-beating, etc.

It may be a crime or the target of a crime right before birth, or even before a girl. Let’s look at the life of a woman and talk quickly about the risks. The nature of the offenses also varies as the stages alter. Below are pictures/tables that emphasize key facets of the problem. The National Crime Records Bureau report of India for 2012 shows that 46 per 100,000, 2 per 100,000, 0.7 per 100,000, and 5.9 per 100,000 have been recorded to be the domestic cruelty rate of husbands or relatives. “Whereas in this nation (India), 8 · 5 percent is one of the lowest in the world in 2014, the Lancet reports say. It is anticipated to affect 27·5 million women in India [given the enormous Indian population]. Furthermore, in the 2006 survey, 85% of women with sexual assaults were never seeking treatment in or without marriage and just 1% claimed that to the police.”

The criminals who perpetrate crimes against women are punished by several legal regulations. But certain crimes are characterized in diametric terms as “offenses against women” for women as victims of various crimes, including assassination, theft, etc. The Indian Penal Code does. With the necessity of the moment to combat these crimes effectively, a large number of new socio-economic offenses were enforced, together with several changes to existing legislation.

What is the law related to crime against women?

There are two categories in which legislation relating to the crime against women are classified: Special and Local Crimes against Women (SLL)

The crimes against women contained in special and local laws are designed to eradicate the immoral and sinful actions and use of women in society. These laws are reviewed and modified often to ensure that emerging demands are addressed promptly. Some acts which have specific measures to safeguard women and their interests are set down below.


Crime against women mentioned in The Indian Penal Code, 1860

The Indian Penal Code of 1860 provides for the punishment of the offender for the odd crimes against women. Different parts of the IPC deal explicitly with these offenses.

  • Acid Attack on women (Sections 326A and 326B)
  • Rape (Section – 375, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D and 376E of The Penal Code, 1860)
  • Tentative of committing rape (Section 376/511)
  • Kidnapping and abduction for various purposes (Sections 363–373)
  • Murder, death of Dowry, Suicide Abetment, etc. (Sections 302, 304B, and 306)
  • Husband’s cruelty or his family (Section 498A)
  • Excuse women’s modesty (Section 354)
  • Harmful sexuality (Section 354A)
  • Women to disrupt a woman (Section 354B)
  • Leadership (Section 354C)
  • Stalking (Section 354D)
  • Girls up to the age of 21 years (Section 366B)
  • Word, gesture, or behavior that offends a woman’s modesty (Section 509)

Sexual offenses against Women

  1. Rape

Rape is one of the most horrific acts a woman in our culture has perpetuated. It is known to constitute India’s fourth most frequent female crime. The rape is done if a person has sexual intercourse or, to an extent, penetrates or makes a woman’s vagina, mouth, urethra, or anus, or inserts any object or part of the body, other than a penis, into the vagina or urethra or anus or causes the woman to be so with him or any other person, or manipulates any part of the body or part of it; or manipulates the part of the body or part of it or attaches its mouth to a woman’s vagina, anus, urethra, or does so to her, or any other person, under any of the seven descriptors as follows:

  • Against her will. 
  • Unless it is agreed.
  • With your consent, if you have gotten your permission by placing you or anybody else you are interested in the risk of death or injury.
  • By having her approval to pretend to be her spouse.
  • If she does not grasp the nature and effects of what she has agreed to due to mental health or drinking.
  • If she is under the age of 18, with or without her permission.
  • If you can’t give your consent.

Following the Indian penal code sections, a rape victim can submit an IFR at the local police station

  • 376 – Rape penalty
  • 376A-Punishment to cause death or to lead to the victim’s protracted vegetative condition.
  • 376B- Husband’s sexual relationship with his wife during separation
  • 376C- Person in authority sexual intercourse
  • 376D- Gang Rape

Case: Priya Patel v. the State of M.P.[3]

Facts: After her sports meeting, the prosecutor came back home and the appellant’s spouse met her at the railway station and informed her that his father sent him to pick her up. He brought her and raped her home. The wife (the appellant) entered the room during the rape commission, and the prosecutor requested aid, but rather than saving her, he knocked on her and locked the door, and fled the scene for the occurrence. Following Section 376 IPC the accused husband was charged, however following Section 376(2)(g) of IPC the applicant’s wife was charged with the commission of the crime. The appellant’s wife questioned the lawfulness of the accusation against her according to Section 376(2)(g) of the IPC since the lady is not able to commit rape and cannot be tried for “gang rape” commission.

Judgment: A woman cannot say that she is willing to make rape, the court concluded. Therefore, for the conduct of an offense punishable by Section 376(2)(g) the appellants cannot be punished.

Case: Tukaram v. State of Maharashtra[4]

Facts: Mathura, a Harijan girl, established a close relationship with a kid, Ashoka. Her brother said that Ashok had abducted Mathura. The police station brought Mathura and recorded the statement. The report of the Ph.D. revealed that the body of Mathura did not suffer any harm. Her hymen disclosed ancient breaks. The applicants argued that while the type of a girl’s agreement to the claimed sexual relationship was not directly shown, it may be inferred that she did so with a passive submission from the given facts.

Judgment: The court decided that after the occurrence, there were no traces of injuries to the girl’s body and that shows that the intercourse was a calm event and the girl was a false narrative. Consequently, the appellants are not offended.

The so-called ‘Mathura Rape Case’ is well known. In many instances, the Apex Court construed it after this decision that it was not essential to injure the victim’s body to prove an offense of rape.

  • Sexual Harassment at Workplace

The 2013 Law on the prevention, prohibition, and redress of sexual harassment of women on the job was adopted to protect women in the workplace. Sexual harassment means when a person undergoes an unwelcome act of physical intimacy, such as capitulation, brushing, touching, teasing, directly or through implication for the benefit of another person, shows a person sexually explicitly any visual material in the form of photos/cartoons/pin-ups/calendars/screensavers/jokes that are likely to provoke discomfort or humiliation, boldness, sexism. This legislation replaced the Vishakha Guidelines established by the Supreme Court of India to combat sexual harassment. An internal complaints committee with 10 or more workers should be formed at each employer’s office or branch. The Act should include students in schools and colleges as well as patients in hospitals, employers, and municipalities who must establish complaints committees to examine all concerns. Any aggravated woman can, within 3 months of the date of the incident or the date of the last incidence, make a complaint in writing with the Internal/Local Committee in the event of a series of events. Victims may, under sections 294,354, 354A, 509, also submit a complaint to the Indian Penal Code of 1860.

  • Acid Attacks

Acid throws are a sort of violent assault which are characterized as throwing an accident on another person’s body or an equated corrosive material intended to disfigure, torment, or kill. Acid throws are sometimes termed an acid attack. These attacks are perpetrated by people who hurl acid on their victims, generally, on their face, burn them, and damage skin tissue, which often exposes and occasionally breaks down the bones. Blindness and permanent cavity, as well as social, psychological, and economic challenges, may have long-term effects on these attacks. The penalties for willingly inflicting a serious injury, using acid and voluntary throwing, or attempted to hurl acid respectively are provided under Section 326A and Section 326B of the Indian Penal Code of 1860. In the case of acid is thrown or a tentative of acid throwing, Section 100 of the Indian Penal Code gives the private defense the right to death.

  • Domestic Violence

Domestic violence may be characterized as an adult who abuses authority to dominate another person in a relationship. In a relationship through violence, fear is established and other sorts of abuse are included. Physical abuse, sexual assault, and menace may be the subject of violence. Sometimes it might be more subtle to make someone feel valuable, to let them not have any money, or to leave the house. Under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, an application may be submitted before the Magistrate. The Magistrate may give orders such as residency, protection, monetary relief, indemnification order. The spouse or his family, as well as the dowry request, can also file a complaint under Section 498A on cruelty. The term “shared household” was regarded as meaning a residence owned by or rented by a spouse or a residence that is a member of the common family, as defined by the Supreme Court in SR Batra v Taruna Batra[5]. It cannot be regarded as a shared familial property if it is the exclusive property of a legal mother. A woman cannot claim and is not authorized by Delhi Court in Sudha Mishra v. Surya Chandra Mishra RFA 299/2014 to remain at her dad’s house under the Domestic Violence Act.

  • Cruelty & Demand of Dowry

A new area was inserted into the Indian Penal Code, i.e. Section 498A, to limit the increasing occurrence of dowry torture and dowry killing. This Section provides that whoever is a spouse or a relative of a woman’s husband is subject to her cruelty, a time which maybe three years and a fine shall be penalized with jail. Cruelty herein denotes every deliberate action that may cause a woman’s life, limb, or health to commit suicide or to create serious damage or risk. Or harassment to force her to comply with any illicit demand or security, or failing to satisfy the demand. In 1983 the Criminal Procedure Code was later added to Section 198A. In 2005, a law was established on women’s protection from domestic violence to protect women against dowry harassment. Section 304B has been included in the 1860 (‘IPC’) Indian Penal Code which has punished dowry death with a minimum jail penalty of seven years, and a maximum life term. In addition, the 1961 Dowry Request under section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act is an offense in which a request is made at and even after marriage, even though there is no cruelty in question.

  • Pornography & Obscenity

Pornography shall be printed or visual material providing an explicit description, exhibition, or action of genital organs designed to elicit sexual excitation. For sexual excitement, pornography is the depiction of sexual subjects. The medium may include, for example, books, periodicals, postcards, photography, sculptures, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, movies, and video games. Increased usage of IT technology, including Internet and media, resulting in a profusion of illicit websites containing obscene and pornographic material The Indian Penal Code 1860, The Information Technology Act, 2000, The Indecent Representations of Women (Prospective of Women), 1986, deal with obscenity and pornography and disclose or disclose, as criminal offenses under a variety of provisions, obscenity, and pornography.

  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 Articles 292,293,294,354,354A,354B,354C,509.
  • Section 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women Act (Prohibition)
  • Section 6 of the Information Technology Act 2000.

Relevant case laws

Case: Rupan Deol Bajaj v. K.P.S.[6]

Facts: The petitioner had been a DGP, Punjab IAS Officer. A gathering where the accused was present was invited to the petitioner. The accused invited the petitioner to sit by him, and he drew the chair closer to him when she went to sit, and the petitioner was shocked that she had brought back her chair and pulled the chair nearer to him. The petitioner requested that he go but again he requested a petitioner with a commander’s voice. She was caught and scared and pulled back her chair and went out straight away. Among all the visitors the defendant slapped the petitioner’s bug, which was highly embarrassing to her. Against him, she filed an FIR.

Judgment: The Court abrogated the FIR by stating that the offense was dealt with following Section 95, IPC.

The Supreme Court ruled that quashing FIR was unlawful and Article 95 of the IPC was not relevant at all. In addition, the Court stated that if an offense concerns women’s modesty, it cannot under any circumstances be insignificant. Consequently, under Section 354 of the IPC, the offender was found responsible.

Case: Raju Pandurang Mahale v. State of Maharashtra[7]

Facts: The defendant brought the co-defendant to the residence on a pretense. She was imprisoned within the home and was forced to consume booze. She then disrobed the victim and took her naked pics.

Judgment: Following Section 354 of the IPC, the Supreme Court judged the accused to be guilty because of the usual sense of female decency.

Case: State of Punjab v. Major Singh[8]

Facts: In this instance, a seven-and-a-half-month-old kid with fingering had been injured by the suspect.

Judgment: The offender was held responsible under Section 354, IPC for outraging the children’s modesty. The court stated that a woman’s modesty is essentially about her sex. Young, smart or foolish, awake or sleepy; women have a modesty capable of offending.

  • Voyeurism

After the 2012 Nirbhaya Rape Case, this offense occurred. Section 354C, IPC states that. The word “voyeurism” is appeasement that typically results from a hidden observation of the genital or sexual actions of another. This provision is split into two sections. First, whether the individual is seeing or capturing the image, and secondly if the individual spreads or disseminates that image.

The first offense must be penalized with not less than a year’s imprisonment which may be fined for up to three years. The second offense shall be penalized by not less than three years’ imprisonment that may extend to a fine of seven years.


  • The defendant needs to be a guy.
  • He needs to look at the image or capture it.
  • The woman whose pictures are taken must take part in a private event.
  • The conditions must be such that the perpetrator has expectations that he will not be.
  • This picture is spread by the accused.


The stages in the life of women who suffers heinous crimes:

Stage 1 Feticide and childhood: If economic or cultural preference exists for children, the diagnostic instruments for pregnancy can lead to women’s feticide.

Stage 2 Ageing School: Many girls do not have access to and completion of adequate education in elementary and secondary schooling compared with males and, else, parents and teachers may face prejudice in their education.

Stage 3 Teenagers: Many young girls become victims of online sexual abuse and sexual abuse, exploitation and violence, acid assaults, early marriage violations, and even HIV/AIDS.

Stage 4 Matrimony: After their marriage, many women are abused by their spouse and in-laws physically, monetarily, and emotionally.

Stage 5 Motherhood: Sometimes during and after pregnancy women are not given enough health care or good meals. Often a female fetus is forced to terminate.

Stage 6 Workplace: Women are commonly exploited, uneven remuneration for equal employment, and lack of promotion despite physical, economic, and emotional abuse.

Despite the number of laws protecting and safeguarding the rights and interests of women, there is an increasingly daily rate of crime against women and victimization. Two people are widely known to need to tango. It means that only legislation is not accountable for regulating and controlling the increase in crimes against women in our society. Suppression of the bad eyes on women and inculcation of social ethics, morality and values, respect for and honor for women in every human being is the necessity of the hour and can also reduce crime against women. However, stricter and stricter legislation is needed to prevent anyone who wishes to commit such crimes from having the guts to act to promote his objective.

[1] Violence & Protective measures for Women Development & Empowerment by Aruna Goel, New Delhi, Deep & Deep Publications, 2004, PP 3-5

[2] Acts passed by the Indian Parliament.

[3] 2006(6) SCC 263

[4] AIR 1979 SC 185

[5] AIR 2007 SC 1088

[6] 2005(6) SCC 161

[7] 2004(2) SCR 287

[8] AIR 1967 SC 63