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Author: MB. Swathi, III year of B.A.,LL.B. from Government law college, Vellore


Rape accounts for about 70.7 % over the last two years of all crimes against women in india.The average rate of reported rape cases in India is around 85.5 percent over 666.2million female population in recent years. But the problem about rape cases is that almost 90% of sexual violence cases go unreported, which makes it difficult to estimate the actual number of rape cases in India. These statistics make it scary for a woman to live in an environment where she can't even breathe on her own. Nirbhaya case is one of India's landmark judgments, which has brought about many changes in India's rape laws, as it involves something extraordinarily cruel and barbarious.Let's talk about this case in this article.

Fact of the case

1. "Nirbhaya" was a pseudonym used for the rape victim of the notorious 16 December 2012 Delhi gang rape incident in india. Nirbhaya means adventurous or fearless.Nirbhaya's original name is Jyoti Singh, she was a physiotherapy intern. On the dark and chilly night of 16 December 2012, a 23-year-old woman was brutally assaulted,gang-raped and tortured in a moving bus in Munirka, South Delhi.

2. On that day ,She was travelling with her friend Avindra Pratap Pandey.The woman and her friend Pandey were returning home after watching the film 'Life of Pi' in Saket, South Delhi that night. They boarded an off-duty charter bus at Munirka bus stand at around 9.30 pm with six others including the bus driver. One of the men, identified as a minor, had called the passengers saying that the bus was on its way to their landing place.

3. The bus started moving in the off-route direction and the men closed the doors of the vehicle. Suspecting something wrong, when Pandey objected, he shouted and drunk people started molesting her.Her friend was thrashed with a rod and the men dragged her to the back of the bus and gang-raped repeatedly for over an hour. As she fought back, a teenage assailant inserted an iron rod into her private parts, causing her intestines to split and burst. While this was happening, the bus driver drove across Delhi.

4. After the attack, both were thrown down from the bus to die on the roadside. Both were found half-dead by a passerby and informed the Delhi Police.She was taken to Safdarjung Hospital where doctors found that she was not only sexually abused, her body was mutilated beyond human imagination.

5. A later medical report stated that the attack resulted in serious injuries to his stomach, intestines and genitals, and doctors said the damage indicated that a blunt object (suspected to be an iron rod) was used for penetration. Police later described the rod as a rusted L-shaped tool used as a wheel jack handle. He later died of heart failure, internal bleeding and multiple organ failure on 29 December 2012.


The word ‘rape is derived from the latin term ‘rapio’,which means to seize. Thus,it literally means a forcible seizure and that is the essential characteristic feature of the offence. In common parlance, it mean sexual intercourse with a woman by a force against her will,fear or fraud without her consent. Sexual intercourse with the consent of a girl below the age of sixteen years also amounts to rape. Typically, rape is a violation, accompanied by violence to a woman's private person - an outrage by all principles.

Rape is not only a crime against the person of a victim, but a crime against the whole society. It destroys the entire psychology of a woman and pushes her into deep emotional distress. That's why rape is the most heinous crime. It is an offence against basic human rights and also a violation of the fundamental rights of the victim, namely the right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.

Under the section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, "a man is said to have committed rape" if he–

● Penetrates to any extent his penis into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a woman or forces her to do so to himself or any other person;or

● Inserts, to any extent, any object or part of the body, which is not a penis, into the vagina, urethra or anus of a woman, or asks her to do so to herself or to any other person;or

● Manipulating any part of the body of a woman so as to enter into the vagina, urethra, anus or any part of the body of such woman or to compel her to do so to himself or to any other person; or

● Puts his mouth on a woman's vagina, anus, urethra, or makes her or any other person do so.

● Under the seven descriptions:--

1. When it is against his will

2. This is done without her consent.

3. This is done with her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or injury.

4. This is done with her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or considers herself legally married.

5. This is done with her consent when, at the time of giving such consent,by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or by the administration of any other idiotic or harmful substance by him personally,she is unable to understand the nature and consequences to which she consents.

6. This is done with or without her consent,when she is minor or under the age of eighteen.

7. When she is not in a position to give her consent to.

Section 375 and 376 was the oldest section in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act,1983.After the Nirbhaya case ,changes introduced in the Criminal Law(Amendment) Act,2013 section are 375,376,376A,376B,376C,and 376D.

Section 376D is relevant in this case. Define gang rape as per this section. It's means a woman raped by one or more person (group) of a common intention. Section 376 is the cognizable offence and it is non bailable. The punishment was rigorous imprisonment, it should not be less than 20 years and it may extend life imprisonment with fine.

Outcome of rape

The outcome of rape can include both physical injuries and also psychological stress.Women often suffer from fertility problems ,health issue and continued mental illness even after the rape is over. If a woman is raped then it is indeed a curse.Generally woman don't give the complaint about it because they thought that it was shameful for their family and them.They fear what will happen if they are blamed for what happened to them. Social reactions were a lot of social outrage over this horrific incident. There were lots of candle light marches, solidarity movements and protests.People expected fair judgement.


On 10 September 2013, the court found the accused guilty in the trial and sentenced all four men(Mukesh Singh, Vinay Gupta, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur) to death. The juvenile was sent to a correctional home for 3 years and On 11 March 2013, Ram Singh comitted suicide in Tihar jail during the trial. On 13 March 2014, the Delhi High Court found the accused guilty of rape and murder and sentenced them to death.Thereafter the accused appealed in the Supreme Court. On 5 May 2017, the Supreme Court of India rejected the appeal of the convicts and said that it was a barbaric crime and had shocked the conscience of the society.The casual manner in which he was treated and the diabolical manner in which they toyed with his identity and dignity is humanly unimaginable. It feels like a story of a different world where humanity has been treated with disrespect,"said Justice Dipak Mishra. Finally, the accused were Hanged on 20 March 2020.


This case shook the whole world and highlights how "beliefs that blame women for their oppression legitimize violence against women." Now there are more strict laws for the protection of women in this country, but this type of crime is still happening today.


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