Sexual Offences - SECTION 375

Sexual Offences - SECTION 375

Chapter 26 of the Indian Penal Code deals with the offences affecting the human body. Section 375 of IPC deals with rape, which is one of the offences affecting the human body. It is covered under Chapter 26. Section 375 has 6 clauses

What is IPC Section 375?

Section 375 deals with the situations which are classified as Rape. Any sexual activity with takes place without a will and without the consent of the female involved in it, it will be termed as rape. Without will and without consent are two different things. The former means the female does not want to do a certain thing and the latter means without her permission. The main objective for the existence of Section 375 can be understood by the words of a judge in the case of the Rafiq V. State of UP – a murderer kills a person’s body but rape kills their soul. This Section plays an important role in doing justice to rape victims.

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 A man is held guilty of committing the crime of rape if –  

  1. Penetration of penis takes place, be it to any extent, into the vagina of the victim or mouth, urethra or anus of a woman or makes any other person do the same with her; or

  2. Insertion takes place, be it to any extent, of any object or a part of the body, not the penis, into the vagina, the urethra, anus of a woman or makes any other person do the same with her; or

  3. Manipulates (applies force) any part of the body of a woman so as to cause penetration into the vagina, urethra, anus of a woman or makes any other person do the same with her; or

  4. Applies his mouth to the vagina, anus, urethra of a woman or makes any other person do the same with her.

This definition starts with ‘a man’ which clearly indicates that only a man can commit the offence of rape.

All of the above-mentioned actions will be termed as ‘rape’ under the circumstances falling under any of the following seven descriptions:

  1. When the actions mentioned above are against her will.

  2. Without her consent.

  3. With her consent, but when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt. This type of consent obtained by putting the victim or someone related to the victim is not valid.

  4. With her consent, but when the man is aware that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she was falsely promised of a future with him. for example, a man is physically involved in a relationship with another woman even though he is married to someone else. The woman does not know he is previously married and in this case, she can accuse him of raping her. The man’s defense in this case that it was a relationship with consent won’t work here and it will still be considered rape. This is also

  5. With her consent, but at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication by consuming some unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.

  6. When the victim is under the age of sixteen years. In this case, it does not matter if the sexual activity happened with or without consent, the accuser will be held liable. The Indian Constitution says that any girl below the age of sixteen is mentally not capable of understanding the consequences of such a physical act and so even if she gives her consent to the act it will be considered rape.

  7. When she is unable to communicate her consent.

Exceptions to Section 375

  1. If there is a medical procedure or intervention required for some medical problems and if penetration is required, it shall not constitute rape.

  2. Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, even if it is without her consent and the wife is not under fifteen years of age is not rape. In India, a lot of child marriages happen and so in this case the age is reduced from sixteen to fifteen. Even though the couple is married, the husband does not gain authority over the body of his wife and does whatever and whenever he wants to. In India, even today in remote areas of the country, girls are married off before 15 years of age and so sexual acts of such girls are considered rape. This type of marital rape is not criminalized.

Is IPC Section 375 bailable?

IPC Section 375 is a non-bailable offence which means it is a serious offence and only Courtrooms can provide bail to the defendant.

What is the punishment for IPC 375 case?

The punishment for the rapist is imprisonment for not less than seven years and it may extend to even life imprisonment. He can also be held liable to pay a fine of a certain amount.

Is IPC 375 a cognizable offence or a non-cognizable offence?

Is categorized as a cognizable offence as these heinous crimes where the victim can file an FIR or register a complaint to the magistrate.

How to file/defend your case for IPC 375 offence?

Lawtendo has around 15000+ lawyers across India on our platform who can help you file/defend your case for IPC Section 375. Lawtendo strives to facilitate cost-efficient and quality legal service to our clients. You can contact us at +91-967133666 or [email protected].

Famous judgments related to IPC 375:

Dileep Singh V. State of Bihar (30 Oct 1998)

In this case, the accused and the victim were having an affair. The man falsely promised the girl to get married to her and tricked the girl to have sexual activities with him. After the girl was pregnant, the man denied having done any such promise.

The court held him guilty under Section 375 of IPC. Consent obtained by making a false promise is counted as consent.

State of Punjab V. Gurmit Singh (16 Jan 1996):

In this case, the victim was a student of class 10. While she was coming home after giving her exam, she was abducted by 3 men. They took her to a place and all 3 of them raped her.

The court held them guilty of rape and punished them under Section 376 of IPC.

The Court also laid down certain guidelines for trials in such cases:

  1. The delay in filing an FIR is irrelevant if it is properly explained.

  2. The evidence of the victim is vital in cases of sexual assault and if there is no special; reason to look for justification of her statement, the accused can be convicted on the prosecutrix’s (a female victim of a crime) statement alone.

  3. The trial of sexual offence cases should be held on a camera which means in private, by a lady judge.

  4. The Court should not make any observation that probably the prosecutrix is of slack character.

  5. The Court also has to see that the victim is not getting harassed and humiliated in cross-examination when the trial is taking place.


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Loopholes in Section 375

Section 375 was initially made to do justice to the innocent rape victims but there have been cases in which the man is falsely accused of rape charges by the woman. This is majorly seen in affairs that happen after marriage. It is obvious that in this case, the woman has an advantage over the man involved because proving that the man is not guilty of rape becomes very difficult.

This beautiful article on IPC Section 375 was drafted by Ms. Ishika Choudhary, BALLB - 2nd year, Amity Law School.
Offence Punishment Cognizance Bail Triable By
Rape Imprisonment for a minimum of 10 years and maximum for life along with a fine. Cognizable Non- Bailable Court of Session
Offence Rape
Punishment Imprisonment for a minimum of 10 years and maximum for life along with a fine.
Cognizance Cognizable
Bail Non- Bailable
Triable By Court of Session


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