Sexual Intercourse by Person in Authority - Section 376C

Sexual Intercourse by Person in Authority - Section  376C

Section 376(c) was inserted in the  Indian Penal Code by the 13th criminal law amendment in 2013. This section mainly talks about a male who could be a public servant or a superintendent/manager of jail or staff of a hospital, who abuses his position of authority and uses his powers and domination over a female by inducing/seducing her to have sexual intercourse with him. It also includes a male who makes use of his fiduciary relationship with a female wherein he tries to take advantage of the confidence and trust which she has in that man and convinces her to have sexual intercourse with him. This means that the offender is abusing his power as he holds such an authority in the concerned institution were; by seducing or inducing the victim to have sexual intercourse.


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Let us understand the section 376C in detail below:

‘’Whoever in authority or office or in a fiduciary relationship or a public servant or manager of a jail, or manager of a remand home or any other place of custody established under any law for the time being in force, or a women/children institution; or is a part of the management in a hospital or a staff of a hospital, and he abuses his position or fiduciary relationship to seduce/induce a woman either in his custody or under his custody or when he is incharge or present in the premises to have sexual intercourse with him, but shall not amount to an offence of rape, then he shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be lesser than five years, but it can extend to ten years, and he shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation 1. In this section, "sexual intercourse" shall mean any of the acts mentioned in clauses (a) to (d) of section 375 ie 1) penetrates the penis 2) inserts any object 3) manipulates any part of the body, and 4) uses his mouth in relation with the vagina.

Explanation 2. For the purposes of this section, Explanation 1 to section 375 shall also be applicable which states that the meaning of the word vagina also includes labia majora.

Explanation 3. "Superintendent", of jail, or a remand home or of a women's or children's institution, is a person holding an office in that jail, remand home, institution by virtue of which he exercises his authority to control the persons inside the premises.

Explanation 4. The expressions "hospital" and "women's or children's institution" shall respectively have the same meaning as in Explanation to sub-section (2) of section 376.

The major difference between section 376 c and 376 is consent. Under s/c 376, consent is not given by the victim whereas under s/c 376c consent is given by the women. As the accused/offender is in a higher position and holds superiority in power, a female is victimized and she is unable to raise her voice and she is likely to allow such gross acts by superiors in hospitals, children institutions, jails, etc. such males are under strict liability to get punished and he shall be responsible for this act no matter what the situation might be. He cannot evade or get acquitted of the offence as he is strictly liable under section 376c Indian Penal Code. According to section 154 (1), if the information is given to the police for a cognizable offence punishable under section 376(c), then the information must be recorded by a woman police officer or any woman officer and in addition to this, if the victim is temporarily or permanently mentally or physically disabled, then such information shall be recorded by a police officer, at the house of the person who wishes to report the offence or at any other place of the choice of the person in the presence of an interpreter or a special educator and the recording must be video graphed and the officer shall get a statement of the person which is to be recorded by the judicial magistrate. It is the duty of the magistrate to record the statement as soon as he gets information of the commission of such an offence. According to section 146 of the Indian evidence act, questions such as the immoral character of the victim or previous sexual activity, cannot be asked to the victim to decide the factor of consent during cross-examination.

Is IPC 376c bailable?

Kanooni Dhara 376(c) is a non-bailable offence. It means that it's the discretion of the court to grant bail or no to the bad person. it's not a matter of right.

What is the punishment for IPC 376c Case?

If a person is convicted under section 376(c) for forcibly inducing/enticing a female to have sexual intercourse, by using his authority, he shall be liable for imprisonment not less than 5 years and it may get extended to 10 years and he will also be liable to pay fine.

Is IPC 376c a cognizable offence or a non-cognizable offence?

Section 376c IPC is a cognizable offence. Just in case of a non-cognizable offence, the police cannot arrest the suspect while not a warrant additionally as cannot begin associate investigation while not the permission of the court.

How to file/defend your case for IPC 376c offence?

There are two choices offered to file a case below section 376(A) IPC as under:

Give an application orally or in writing to an official in the police station u/s 337 to register an FIR. You'll be able to visit any nearest police headquarters

irrespective of the jurisdiction and find a zero FIR registered.

  1. Any such individual, who by the police officer in charge, has been refused the right to an FIR can send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offense, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any policeman subordinate to him, within the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of a politician responsible of the police station in relation to that offense.

  2. A grievance will be submitted to the official orally or in writing below section 200 of the CrPC. once the submission of a grievance, the official can conduct a hearing, deciding upon the problem of cognizance. during this channel, the informant and the witnesses can be examined on oath before the official.

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Any famous judgment w.r.t. IPC 376c if any?

Malta Michara Gavit v/s State of Maharashtra 2010 SCC OnLine Bom 1879 : (2011) 1 AIR Bom R 395:

 The girl was below 16 yrs age and she was an inmate of the ashram school and the accused was the manager of the school. He would call the girl to his house to do household chores and cook food for the family while his wife was in the hospital. He induced her to have sexual intercourse even though she resisted by verbally saying no to do the act and blackmailed her not to tell anyone about this incident else he would fail her in the exams. The court held: ‘’due to the custodial charge of the inmate, and in view of the influence of the Manager or inducement made by him, the act of consent of the female inmate is of no avail by way of defense. It is needless to say, therefore, that question of the age of the prosecutrix and her consent to the sexual intercourse would become immaterial if it is proved that the appellant induced or seduced her to have sexual intercourse with him, during the period she was an inmate of the hostel of the Ashram School. Considering the totality of the circumstances and the evidence placed on record, it will have to be said that all the ingredients of the charge for offence punishable under section 376-C of the I.P. Code are duly established in the present case.’’

The author of this beautiful blog is Ms. Rashi Sheth LLB Third Year Student from Jitendra Chauhan College of law

Offence Punishment Cognizance Bail Triable By
Sexual intercourse by a person in authority Rigorous Imprisonment for 5 to 10 years + Fine Cognizable Non- Bailable Court of Sessions
Offence Sexual intercourse by a person in authority
Punishment Rigorous Imprisonment for 5 to 10 years + Fine
Cognizance Cognizable
Bail Non- Bailable
Triable By Court of Sessions


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