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Rape laws under BNS: All you need to know (Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita)

Updated: Jun 2

Introduction:


Rape is a heinous crime that violates the dignity and autonomy of a woman. The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023 (BNS) addresses sexual offenses, including rape, with detailed provisions to protect the rights and well-being of women. This article aims to provide an overview of the rape laws under the BNS.


Section 63 of BNS: Definition of Rape


Section 63 of the BNS defines rape, categorizing various actions that constitute this offense. These actions range from penetration with body parts or objects to manipulations causing penetration, all under specific circumstances outlined in seven descriptions. The definitions also include considerations for consent and conditions like age, mental state, and communication abilities


Section 64 of BNS: Punishment for Rape


Section 64 of BNS prescribes severe punishments for rape. In general cases, rigorous imprisonment not less than ten years, which may extend to life, along with a fine, is imposed. However, the punishment escalates for specific situations, such as rape by public servants, armed forces, or during communal violence.


Section 65 of BNS: Punishment for Rape in Certain Cases


This section addresses rape offenses against minors. Perpetrators who commit rape on a woman under sixteen or twelve years of age face stringent penalties, including rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of twenty years, life imprisonment, or even the death penalty. The fine imposed will be used to cover medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim.


Section 66 of BNS: Punishment for Causing Death or Persistent Vegetative State


In cases where rape results in the death of the victim or places them in a persistent vegetative state, the offender faces rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of twenty years, life imprisonment, or the death penalty.


Section 67 of BNS: Sexual Intercourse by Husband upon His Wife During Separation.


Recognizing the significance of marital consent, the BNS addresses sexual intercourse by a husband with his separated wife without her consent. Offenders face imprisonment ranging from two to seven years and a fine, emphasizing the importance of respecting spousal autonomy.


Section 68 of BNS: Sexual Intercourse by Person in Authority


This section deals with sexual intercourse by individuals in positions of authority, public servants, or those managing institutions. Offenders abusing their position or fiduciary relationship for sexual intercourse face rigorous imprisonment for a term of five to ten years and a fine.


Section 69 of BNS: Sexual Intercourse by Employing Deceitful Means, etc.


Addressing sexual intercourse obtained through deceitful means or false promises, this section imposes imprisonment up to ten years and a fine. Deceitful means encompass false promises of employment, promotion, or marriage.


Section 70 of BNS: Gang Rape


The law recognizes the severity of group offenses, prescribing rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of twenty years, which may extend to life, for those involved in gang rape. The fine imposed is directed towards victim medical expenses and rehabilitation.


Section 71 of BNS: Punishment for Repeat Offenders


Individuals previously convicted under specific sections related to sexual offenses can face life imprisonment or the death penalty upon subsequent convictions.


Section 72 of BNS: Disclosure of Identity of Victim of Certain Offences, etc.


Recognizing the sensitivity of victims' identities, Section 72 penalizes the disclosure of the victim's identity. Those convicted of such offenses may face imprisonment up to two years and a fine. Exceptions exist for authorized disclosures, including those ordered by the police officer in charge of the investigation, with the victim's written authorization, or in specific cases involving the victim's next of kin.


Watch JudiX’s 1 minute video explainer on can rape cases be compromised under new criminal laws?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Rape Laws under Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS):


1. What is the definition of rape under Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS)?

Section 63 of BNS comprehensively defines rape, covering various actions such as penetration and manipulations, considering specific circumstances and conditions like consent, age, mental state, and communication abilities.


2. What punishment is prescribed for rape under BNS?


BNS prescribes severe punishments for rape, including rigorous imprisonment for not less than ten years, which may extend to life, along with fines. The penalty escalates in specific situations, such as rape by public servants, armed forces, or during communal violence.


3. How does BNS address rape offenses against minors?


Section 65 of BNS addresses rape offenses against minors, imposing stringent penalties, including rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of twenty years, life imprisonment, or even the death penalty. The fine aims to cover medical expenses and rehabilitation.


4. What are the consequences if rape leads to the death of the victim or a persistent vegetative state?


Section 66 of BNS prescribes rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of twenty years, life imprisonment, or the death penalty if rape results in the victim's death or a persistent vegetative state.


5. How does BNS address sexual intercourse within marriage during separation?


Section 67 of BNS recognizes the significance of marital consent, penalizing sexual intercourse by a husband with his separated wife without her consent. Offenders face imprisonment ranging from two to seven years and a fine.


6. What punishment is imposed for sexual intercourse by a person in authority?


Section 68 of BNS deals with sexual intercourse by individuals in positions of authority, public servants, or those managing institutions. Offenders abusing their position for sexual intercourse face rigorous imprisonment for five to ten years and a fine.


7. How does BNS address sexual intercourse obtained through deceitful means or false promises?


Section 69 of BNS addresses sexual intercourse obtained through deceitful means, imposing imprisonment up to ten years and a fine. Deceitful means include false promises of employment, promotion, or marriage.


8. What penalties are prescribed for gang rape under BNS?


Section 70 of BNS recognizes the severity of group offenses, prescribing rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of twenty years, which may extend to life, for those involved in gang rape. The fine is directed towards victim medical expenses and rehabilitation.


9. What are the consequences for repeat offenders under BNS?


Section 71 of BNS highlights the gravity of repeat offenses, imposing life imprisonment or the death penalty for individuals previously convicted under specific sections related to sexual offenses.


10. How does BNS protect the identity of victims?


Section 72 of BNS penalizes the disclosure of victims' identities, with individuals convicted of such offenses facing imprisonment up to two years and a fine. Exceptions exist for authorized disclosures by police officers, with victim authorization or in specific cases involving the victim's next of kin.


Rape laws under BNS: All you need to know (Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita)





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