At present, if a man files a complaint against a woman for committing
offenses like rape, sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism or outraging the
modesty, she goes scot-free as the 158-year-old archaic Indian Penal Code (IPC)
believes only men can commit such a crime.
In this time we are thinking about the protection of women from sexual violence
and we have enacted a number of laws for them. What about the protection of male
and boys? How can we protect their dignity and respect from the attack of sexual
assault? Our Indian penal code defines that rape can only be done by MAN and in
this case the women can only be victim. We have done amendment in Section 375 in
Criminal Amendment Act, 1983 after the famous case
Tukaram V. Union Of India [i] and in the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013,
on the recommendation of Justice Verma Committee Report. In this amendment
Sexual Intercourse defined
because of the petition in the case of
Sakshi Vs Union of India[ii]. Now the
sexual intercourse is not just penile-vaginal intercourse but its scope is
increased and it covers many other acts in the definition of Sexual
The present section 375 is A man is said to commit “rape” if he-
Penetrates his penis, to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of
a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or
Inserts, to any extent, any object or a part of the body, not being the penis,
into the vagina, the urethra or anus of a woman or makes her to do so with him
or any other person; or
Manipulates any part of the body of a woman so as to cause penetration into the
vagina, urethra, anus or any of body of such woman or makes her to do so with
him or any other person; or
Applies his mouth to the vagina, anus, and urethra of a woman or makes her to do
so with him or any other person, [iii]
It is not only penetration of penis which amount to rape but inserting anything
and applying mouth also constitute RAPE. These acts can be done by woman with
any man or women without his or her free consent which must be criminalized but
it is not recognized as rape because of this draconian law. More recently, the
Delhi –based center of civil society found that approximately 18% of Indian
adult men surveyed reported being coerced or forced to have sex. Of those 16%
claimed a female perpetrator and 2% claimed a male perpetrator. [iv]
Present Judicial Trends
Many PIL have been filled in the Indian Court. Advocate Rishi Malhotra has
recently filled a PIL in the Supreme Court and last year Mr. SANJIV KUMAR also
filled a P.I.L. [v] in Delhi High Court for making section 375 genders neutral
but these P.I.L. were rejected by the court because it is not the matter of
judiciary but it is the matter of legislature to make amendment in I.P.C. "It is
up to the Parliament. If they feel that this issue requires urgent attention,
they must do it. We cannot direct the Parliament to collect data of such
offenses and amend the IPC. We cannot amend the IPC," a bench headed by Chief
Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar
and D Y Chandrachud said. [vi] The law commission report 172nd and Justice Verma
Committee Report are advocated to make gender natural rape laws. The Criminal
Law Amendment Ordinance 2013 made the offence of rape gender neutral. However,
due to the pressure from certain vested groups, a step in the right direction
was held back and gender specificity was retained in the Amendment Act 2013.The
Criminal Amendment ordinance,2013 based on Justice Verma Committee Report
proposed SEXUAL ASSAULT instead of RAPE which was completely gender neutral
which was: ‘375.
A person is said to commit sexual assault if that person-
(a) Penetrates his penis, to any extent, into the vagina, mouth urethra
or anus of another person or makes the person to do so with him or any
other person; or
(b) inserts, to any extent, any object or a part of the body, not being the
penis, into the vagina, the urethra or anus of another person or makes the
person to do so with him or any other person; or
(c) manipulates any part of the body of another person so as to cause
penetration into the vagina, urethra, anus or any part of body of
such person or makes the person to do so with him or any other person; or
(d) Applies his mouth to the penis, vagina, anus, urethra of another person or
makes such person to do so with him or any other person;
(e) Touches the vagina, penis, anus or breast of the person or makes the person
touch the vagina, penis, anus or breast of that person or any other person.
These cases of rape of male or rape by women is under reported and there is no
database or statics regarding this because we have defined the gender of
perpetrator and the gender of victim.
The recent criminal law amendment, 2018 discriminates between boys and girls
such as that if the victim is girl then the culprit get harsher punishment than
if the victim is boy. We should have such law where if a woman is culprit, she
should be punished.
[i] 1979 SCR (1) 810.
[ii] AIR 2004 SC 3566.
[iii] Saumya Singh Chauhan, Section 375: Analysis of Provisions Relating to
Rape, Academike (Apr. 29,2019,12:51A.M.),https://www.lawctopus.com/academike/section-375-analysis-of-provisions-relating-to-rape/.
[iv] Indian Law should recognize that men can be raped too, Centre for civil
society (Apr. 29, 2019, 12:55 A.M.) https://ccs.in/indias-law-should-recognize-men-can-be-raped-too.
[v] Writ Petition (Civil) No. 8745 OF 2017.
[vi] Harish V Nair, Parliament can make law on rape gender –neutral, says
Supreme Court, India Today (Apr. 29, 2019, 12:55 A.M.) https://www.indiatoday.in/mail-today/story/parliament-can-make-law-on-rape-gender-neutral-says-supreme-court-1160829-2018-02-03