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CRIMINAL LAW (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT 1983

Edited by: Vaani Garg

CRIMINAL LAW (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT 1983, Mathura Rape Case

This article is written by Janvi Johar, pursuing B.A.LLB (H) from Amity University, Noida.

CRIMINAL LAW (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT 1983, Mathura Rape Case
25th March 1980: Members of the ‘National Federation of Indian Women’ demonstrating outside the Supreme Court, New Delhi as they demand the re-opening of the ‘Mathura rape case’. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

INTRODUCTION

It would not be wrong to say that after the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court in the Mathura Rape case, the first-ever reform came into being to deter crime against women. Here, a case was filed against two police officers for the rape of a 16-year-old girl. However, their acquittal on the ground that [1]“Mathura’s body bore no outwards sign of rape” led to huge protests against the failure of the law to protect rape victims, which ultimately led the Parliament to extensively amend the law of rape vide Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 43 of 1983 so as to make the law more realistic.

CRIMINAL LAW (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT 1983, Mathura Rape Case

KEY PROVISIONS

  • First and Foremost, this act substituted the word ‘sexual offences’ with the term ‘rape’ and sections 375 and 376D were added in the Indian Penal Code,1860.
  • Consent of women under intoxication or unsound mind – a new clause under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 negated the consent of women under the influence of intoxication or unsound mind for the offence of rape and thus, it would not be considered as a valid defence.
  • Disclosure of identity of victim– Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 prohibited the disclosure of the identity of victim in offences pertaining to rape.
  • Trial on Camera – The existing law of open court trial to the accused under Section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was amended to make the trial of cases related to the offence of rape in camera and even prohibited the publication of the proceedings without the prior approval of the court.
  • Intercourse during judicial separation – Under Section 376A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 the husband will be held liable for punishment to the extent of 2 years of imprisonment for intercourse with his wife during the period of judicial separation.
  • Increased Punishment – The offence of rape was liable to a minimum of 7 years of imprisonment which could be extended up to life imprisonment.
  • Recognition of Custodial Rape – These are offences which are committed by a person who happens to at a position of authority or power and thus, the consent is said to be under compelling circumstances. Though not recognized earlier, this amendment made custodial rape liable under Section 376B- 376D and the burden of proof lies on the accused
Anti-Rape bill
CRIMINAL LAW (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT 1983

CRIMINAL LAW (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT 1983, Mathura Rape Case

Also read about Gender Neutrality in India

CRIMINAL LAW (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT 1983, Mathura Rape Case

CRIMINAL LAW (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT 1983, Mathura Rape Case

CRIMINAL LAW (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT 1983, Mathura Rape Case


[1] Tuka Ram and Anr vs State of Maharashtra 1979 AIR 185

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