You are on page 1of 21




Submitted by:
Richa, Aditi,



Sidhartha and



Writing a project is one of the most significant academic challenges we have ever faced.
Though this project has been presented by us but there are many people who remained in
veil, who gave their all support and helped us to complete this project.
First of all we are very grateful to our subject teacher FR. Peter Ladis without the kind
support of whom and help the completion of the project was a herculean task for us. He
donated his valuable time from his busy time to help us to complete this project and
suggested us from where and how to collect data.
We are very thankful to the librarian who provided us several books on this topic which
proved beneficial in completing this project.
We acknowledge our friends who gave their valuable and meticulous advice which was very
useful and could not be ignored in writing the project..
Shivam Narain
Richa Joshi
Shashank Kapoor
Sidhartha Shankar
Aditi Sharma


The aim of the project is to
1. Study the recommendations made by Justice J.S. Verma Committee
2. Study the Criminal Law Amendment 2013
3. Suggest proposals to cover the existing loopholes

In this project Doctrinal Method will be used. Doctrinal Methods refer to Library research,
research or processes done upon some texts writings or Documents, legal propositions and
Doctrines, Articles, Books as well as Online Research and Journals relating to the subject.

The research work of the researcher has been divided into four main broad headings which
are as follows


Jagdish Sharan Verma (18 January 1933 22 April 2013) was an Indian jurist who served as
the 27th Chief Justice of India from 25 March 1997 to 18 January 1998. Thereafter he was
the Chairman of National Human Rights Commission from 1999 to 2003, and Chairman of
the Justice Verma Committee Report on Amendments to Criminal Law after the 2012 Delhi
gang rape case. He remains one of India's most highly regarded Chief Justices and eminent
jurists.1 He is known for his judicial innovation through landmark judgements, which made
him "the face of judicial activism" in India. 2 His decisions are credited with the forging of
powerful new judicial tools such as Continuing Mandamus, and the expanded protection of
fundamental rights as in the Vishaka Judgement.3 Alongside judicial activism and
fundamental rights protection, he is strongly associated with women's empowerment, probity
in public life, judicial accountability, as well as enhancing social justice.4
The Justice Verma Committee on Amendments to Criminal Law (the Committee) was
constituted by a Government of India notification dated 23.12.2012, to look into the possible
amendments to Criminal Law to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for
criminals committing sexual assault of extreme nature against women. The Committee
comprised of 3 members late Justice J.S. Verma, who was also its Chairman and the two
1 "The Last Word - The Last Word: Remembering Justice JS Verma"
2 "Justice Verma, the face of judicial activism, dies of multiple organ failure". Indian
Express. 2013-04-23.
3 "A brave judge". Indian Express. 2013-04-25.
4 Karuna Nundy (2013-04-25). "Legacy of change through justice". The Hindu.

members were Justice Leila Seth and Gopal Subramaniam. It tabled its report exactly one
month after being constituted, i.e., on 23rd January 2013. The Committee gave its
recommendations on women and sexual violence and made several detailed suggestions
about amendments to the made to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal
Procedure (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act (IEA).5
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 is an Indian legislation passed by the Lok Sabha
on 19 March 2013, and by the Rajya Sabha on 21 March 2013, which provides for
amendment of Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, and Code of Criminal Procedure,
1973 on laws related to sexual offences. The Bill received Presidential assent on 2 April 2013
and deemed to come into force from 3 April 2013. It was originally an Ordinance
promulgated by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, on 3 April 2013, in light of the
protests in the 2012 Delhi gang rape case.6
On 16 December 2012 a female physiotherapy intern was beaten and gang raped in Delhi.
She died from her injuries thirteen days later, despite receiving treatment in India and
Singapore. The incident generated international coverage and was condemned by the United
Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, who called on the
Government of India and the Government of Delhi "to do everything in their power to take
up radical reforms, ensure justice and reach out with robust public services to make womens
lives more safe and secure". Public protests took place in Delhi, where thousands of
protesters clashed with security forces. Similar protests took place in major cities throughout
the country.7

6 "Prez Pranab Mukherjee promulgates ordinance on crime against women". Indian Express.

Six days after the incident, on 22 December 2012, the central government appointed a
judicial committee headed by J. S. Verma, a former Judge of Supreme Court, to suggest
amendments to criminal law to sternly deal with sexual assault cases. The committee, which
also included retired judge Leila Seth and leading advocate Gopal Subramaniam, was given a
month to submit its report. The Committee submitted its report within 29 days, on 23 January
2013, supposedly after considering the 80,000 suggestions and petitions received by them
during that same period from the public in general and particularly from jurists, lawyers,
NGOs and womens groups. The report indicated that failures on the part of the Government
and Police were the root cause behind crimes against women. Major suggestions of the report
included the need to review AFSPA in conflict areas, maximum punishment for rape as life
imprisonment and not death penalty, clear ambiguity over control of Delhi Police etc.8
The Cabinet Ministers on 1 February 2013 approved for bringing an ordinance, for giving
effect to the changes in law as suggested by the Verma Committee Report. According to
former Minister of Law and Justice, Ashwani Kumar, 90 percent of the suggestions given by
the Verma Committee Report have been incorporated into the Ordinance. The ordinance was
subsequently replaced by a Bill with numerous changes, which was passed by the Lok Sabha
on 19 March 2013.9

7 Stenhammer, Anne F. (20 December 2012). "UN Women condemns gang rape of Delhi
student" (Press release). UN Women.
8 Joshi, Sandeep (24 December 2012). "Shinde calls meeting of Chief Secretaries, police
chiefs to review crime against women". The Hindu (Chennai, India).
9 "Cabinet clears anti-rape law ordinance, says death sentence for extreme cases". NDTV. 1
February 2013.


Sexual assault: Currently, assault or use of criminal force to a woman with the intent to
outrage her modesty is punishable under Section 354 of the IPC with 2 years imprisonment.
The term outraging the modesty of a woman is not defined in the IPC.

Thus, where

penetration cannot be proved, the offence is categorized as defined under Section 354 of the
IPC. The Committee recommended that non-penetrative forms of sexual contact should be
regarded as sexual assault. The offence of sexual assault should be defined so as to include
all forms of non-consensual non-penetrative touching of a sexual nature. The sexual nature
of an act should be determined on the basis of the circumstances. Sexual gratification as a
motive for the act should not be prerequisite for proving the offence. The offence should be
punishable with 5 years of imprisonment, or fine, or both Use of criminal force to disrobe a
woman should be punishable with 3 to 7 years of imprisonment.10
The Committee suggested that both physical assault and verbally outraging the modesty of
woman be treated as Sexual Assault. It recommended that the punishment for the physical
acts of touching sexually without the permission of a woman be punishable with

10 "We have accepted 90% of Justice Verma panel's recommendations: Law Minister".
NDTV. 3 February 2013.

Imprisonment for a term extending to not more than five years or with fine or both. For the
latter, that is for using words, gestures or acts (which includes showing pornographic
material) creating an unwelcome threat of sexual nature or an unwelcome sexual advance, a
punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year or fine or both should be imposed. The
former is already punishable under Section 354 of the IPC, the 2013 Act enhanced the
punishment as recommended by the Committee. However, verbal Sexual Assault was not
made punishable under the 2013 Act. It is already punishable under Section 509 of the IPC,
however, under Section 509 the existence of the intention to outrage the modesty of a woman
by the usage of such gestures, words or acts is essential. Therefore, the suggestion of the
Committee was not incorporated to this extent under the 2013 Act.11
Sexual Harassment: The Committee recommended that Domestic Workers should be
covered under the purview of the Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition
and Redressal) Bill, 2012 that was then due before the Parliament. It further recommended
that the provision in the Bill that states that first efforts of reconciliation must be made
between the victim and the harasser, should be scrapped since it was not in conformity with
the guidelines laid down by the Honble Supreme Court in the Vishaka Case since the SC,
vide that judgement intended for work places to be secure and safe from harassment. The
Committee also recommended payment of compensation by the employer to the woman who
has suffered harassment. Another vital recommendation made by the Committee was that
instead of the Internal Complaints Committee that every employed has an obligation to
constitute, an Employment Tribunal must be set up. This, the Committee recommended
because it was of the opinion that having an internal committee which comprise of members
who are employees at the same work place would defeat the entire purpose of having such a

committee to check cases of sexual harassment since the employer will be in a position to
exude some sort of pressure on the members. The Sexual Harassment Act, 2013 did not
incorporate several suggestions made by the Justice Verma Committee, for instance under the
Act, the Redressal mechanism is still the Internal Complaints Committee to be constituted by
the employer. The 2013 Act on the other hand, inserted Section 354A making Sexual
Harassment a punishable offence, however, the scope of Sexual Harassment under the2013
Act differs from its scope in the Sexual harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013.12
Voyeurism and Stalking: It was recommended that the IPC be amended to criminalize
voyeurism and stalking. The 2013 Act has, under Section 354C and 354D respectively
criminalized these two acts. At present, use of words or gestures to insult a womans
modesty is punishable with 1 year of imprisonment or fine or both under Section 509 of the
IPC. This section should be repealed. The Committee has suggested that use of words, acts
or gestures that create an unwelcome threat of a sexual nature should be termed as sexual
assault and be punishable for 1 year imprisonment or fine or both.13
Rape: The Committee recommended that the gradation of sexual offences should be retained
in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). The Committee was of the view that rape and sexual
assault are not merely crimes of passion but an expression of power. Rape should be retained
as a separate offence and it should not be limited to penetration of the vagina, mouth or anus.
Any non-consensual penetration of a sexual nature should be included in the definition of
rape. The IPC differentiates between rape within marriage and outside marriage. Under the
IPC sexual intercourse without consent is prohibited. 14 However, an exception to the offence
of rape exists in relation to un-consented sexual intercourse by a husband upon a wife. The
12Ordinance vs Verma commission recommendations". NDTV. 1 February 2013.
13 Reddy, B. Muralidhar (3 February 2013). "Despite protest, ordinance on sexual offences
promulgated". The Hindu

Committee recommended that the exception to marital rape should be removed. Marriage
should not be considered as an irrevocable consent to sexual acts. Therefore, with regard to
an inquiry about whether the complainant consented to the sexual activity, the relationship
between the victim and the accused should not be relevant. The Committee suggested that
the distinction between Rape and Sexual Assault be maintained. This is because the
Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (PoCSOA) defines sexual assault to
mean all forms of sexual abuse that does not involve penetration of any sorts and therefore
there would be a clear contradiction between the two legislations if under the IPC sexual
assault would include rape. Therefore, it was of the opinion that this distinction be
maintained. This suggestion was incorporated in the 2013 Act, and Sexual Assault continued
to be defined under Section 354 of the IPC, while rape continued to be defined under Section
375 of the IPC.15

14 "Govt defends ordinance on sexual crimes". LiveMint.

15 "Open to revisions in anti-rape bill: Govt". Times of India. 3 February 2013.


ACT, 2013
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 is an Indian legislation passed by the Lok Sabha
on 19 March 2013, and by the Rajya Sabha on 21 March 2013, which provides for
amendment of Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, and Code of Criminal Procedure,
1973 on laws related to sexual offences. The Bill received Presidential assent on 2 April 2013
and deemed to come into force from 3 April 2013. It was originally an Ordinance
promulgated by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, on 3 April 2013, in light of the
protests in the 2012 Delhi gang rape case.
Section 370 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been substituted with new sections, 370 and
370A which deals with trafficking of person for exploitation. If a person (a) recruits, (b)
transports, (c) harbors, (d) transfers, or (e) receives, a person, by using threats, or force, or
coercion, or abduction, or fraud, or deception, or by abuse of power, or inducement for
exploitation including prostitution, slavery, forced organ removal, etc. will be punished with

imprisonment ranging from at least 7 years to imprisonment for the remainder of that
persons natural life depending on the number or category of persons trafficked. Employment
of a trafficked person will attract penal provision as well.16
The most important change that has been made is the change in definition of rape under IPC.
Although the Ordinance sought to change the word rape to sexual assault, in the Act the word
'rape' has been retained in Section 375, and was extended to include acts in addition to
vaginal penetration. The definition is broadly worded with acts like penetration of penis, or
any object or any part of body to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of
another person or making another person do so, apply of mouth or touching private parts
constitutes the offence of sexual assault. The section has also clarified that penetration means
"penetration to any extent", and lack of physical resistance is immaterial for constituting an
offence. Except in certain aggravated situations the punishment will be imprisonment not less
than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to
fine. In aggravated situations, punishment will be rigorous imprisonment for a term which
shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also
be liable to fine.
A new section, 376A has been added which states that if a person committing the offence of
sexual assault, "inflicts an injury which causes the death of the person or causes the person to
be in a persistent vegetative state, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term
which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life,
which shall mean the remainder of that persons natural life, or with death." In case of "gang
rape", persons involved regardless of their gender shall be punished with rigorous
imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to

16 Times of India Kolkata 2013 May 19; 1.

life and shall pay compensation to the victim which shall be reasonable to meet the medical
expenses and rehabilitation of the victim. The age of consent in India has been increased to
18 years, which means any sexual activity irrespective of presence of consent with a woman
below the age of 18 will constitute statutory rape. Certain changes has been introduced in the
CrPC and Evidence Act, like the process of recording the statement of the victim has been
made more victim friendly and easy but the two critical changes are: 1. the 'character of the
victim' is now rendered totally irrelevant, and 2. there is now a presumption of 'no consent' in
a case where sexual intercourse is proved and the victim states in the court that she did not
Sexual harassment: Rigorous imprisonment up to three years, or with fine, or with both in
case of offence described in clauses (i), (ii) or (iii) Imprisonment up to one year, or with fine,
or with both in other cases. Only protects women. Provisions are: physical contact and
advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures; or a demand or request for
sexual favors; or making sexually colored remarks; or forcibly showing pornography; or any
other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
Voyeurism: In case of first conviction, imprisonment not less than one year, but which may
extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine, and be punished on a second or
subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be
less than three years, but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Only protects women. By implication, women may prey voyeuristically upon men with
impunity. The prohibited action is defines thus: "Watching or capturing a woman in private
act, which includes an act of watching carried out in a place which, in the circumstances,
would reasonably be expected to provide privacy, and where the victim's genitals, buttocks or
breasts are exposed or covered only in underwear; or the victim is using a lavatory; or the
person is doing a sexual act that is not of a kind ordinarily done in public."

Stalking: Imprisonment not less than one year but which may extend to three years, and shall
also be liable to fine. Only protects women from being stalked by men. By implication,
women may stalk men with impunity. The prohibited action is defined thus: "To follow a
woman and contact, or attempt to contact such woman to foster personal interaction
repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman; or monitor the use by a
woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication. There are
exceptions to this section which include such act being in course of preventing or detecting a
crime authorized by State or in compliance of certain law or was reasonable and justified."
"Clause (v) any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature"
has been removed. Punishment for offence under clause (i) and (ii) has been reduced from
five years of imprisonment to three years. The offence is no longer gender-neutral, only a
man can commit the offence on a woman. The offence is no longer gender-neutral, only a
man can commit the offence on a woman. The offence is no longer gender-neutral, only a
man can commit the offence on a woman. The definition has been reworded and broken
down into clauses, The exclusion clause and the following sentence has been removed "or
watches or spies on a person in a manner that results in a fear of violence or serious alarm or
distress in the mind of such person, or interferes with the mental peace of such person,
commits the offence of stalking". Punishment for the offence has been changed; A man
committing the offence of stalking would be liable for imprisonment up to three years for the
first offence, and shall also be liable to fine and for any subsequent conviction would be
liable for imprisonment up to five years and with fine. The word sexual assault has been
replaced back to rape. The offence is no longer gender-neutral, only a man can commit the
offence on a woman. The clause related to touching of private parts has been removed.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 has been strongly criticized by several
human rights and women's rights organizations for not including certain suggestions

recommended by the Verma Committee Report like, marital rape, reduction of age of consent,
amending Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act so that no sanction is needed for prosecuting
an armed force personnel accused of a crime against woman. The Government of India,
replied that it has not rejected the suggestions fully, but changes can be made after proper


The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013 was brought into effect after the horrific Delhi
Gang Rape case which shocked the whole nation with the brutality of the act committed.
Widespread protests and agitations forced the legislature to contemplate the changing of the
prevalent rape laws. The basic idea was to make them more stringent and introduce harsher
punishments besides broadening the ambit and definition of the term rape.
Late Justice J.S.Verma, Gopal Subramaniam and Ex-Justice Leila Seth comprised the rather
famous Justice Verma Committee which was made to collect suggestions and make
recommendations for the legislature to make a law to combat rape and other crimes against
women. The technical committee was so proactive with its working that during its short
duration it received as many as 80,000 suggestions over which deliberations were done.
These suggestions were sent by various activists, lawyers, NGOs and other persons

representing the civil society. Since the legislature was adjourned and there was no session,
the committees recommendations were introduced via an ordinance.
The offence rape was now amended or given a broader meaning which was comprehensive
enough to include any kind of penetration and also in any body part of the woman or girl.
This was the most important change because earlier section 375 of the IPC only stipulated the
Penile Vaginal penetration as rape. The fact that the new recommendations added that any
penetration would be considered as rape was the most efficient tool in widening the ambit of
the term rape which was being demanded earlier on the basis of the recommendations of the
fifth law commission report. There was also the inclusion of registering complaints and
medical examination. The report categorically mentioned, Any officer, who fails to register a
case of rape reported to him, or attempts to abort its investigation, commits an offence which
shall be punishable as prescribed17
The committee gave extensive recommendations regarding avoiding marital rape as well as
rapes committed via commission of void marriages. This was very important as I feel that
Marital Rape is a loophole that is very explicit and on the face in nature. It is a topic that is
not very hidden that legislations are not being made on the issue. This is why it is such an
important thing since everyone knows about it and yet the effort to include it under the
definition of rape has only begun recently. To include this fact and observation the committee
mentioned compulsory registration of marriages so as to provide legal sanctity solemnization
of marriage. The Code of Criminal Procedure

also underwent a similar overhauling

attributed to the new law and had previously gone through the same process after the
judgment in the Supreme Court decision in the Gurmit Singh Case.18
17Report of the Committee on Amendments to Criminal Law Pg 416
18 State of Punjab v. Gurmit Singh, AIR 1996 SC 1393.


It goes without saying that the laws have now changed drastically from what it existed
previously. Societal views changes from time to time with the advent of new values and
technologies. It is only fair that similarly laws which matter so much in regulating the law
and order prevailing in the society also changes from time to time. This is important to
counter and combat new types of crimes that have emerged of late such as cybercrimes which
include data theft, harassing, breach of privacy and so and so forth.

The major rape and

sexual assault cases such as the Shopian Rape Case, the Aruna Shanbaug Case, Nirbhaya
Rape Case, Priya Patel,19 the Mathura Rape Case20, etc. all have had an effect on the
functioning of rape laws and their interpretations as well as reformations. 21 Rape was
included in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 in its original form since 1924.22
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 was a replacement of the Criminal Law
(Amendment) Ordinance, 2013.23 The Act was mandated to make change in the Indian IPC &
CrPC as well as the Indian Evidence Act. There was a rise in threats towards individual
privacy in the country24 and it was high time to include certain new crimes under the Indian
Penal Code in consonance with the passing of time. A new crime that was introduced and was

19 Priya Patel v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 2006 SC 2639

20 1979 AIR 185.
Ordinance, 040213.pdf




not provided for in the countrys earlier legislations was voyeurism which means the
recording or viewing images, movies or any such media material without the permission of
the person portrayed or screened in them would result in penal punishment. A voyeur is
defined as a person who derives sexual gratification from the covert observation of others as
they undress or engage in sexual activities. 25 Voyeurism is a criminal act which creates
apprehension for society and is infringement of expectations of privacy that all citizens have
about their body which they do not wish to expose it to others.26
The inclusion of voyeurism as a crime under the Indian Penal Code has made sale of
pornography, invasion of privacy and all forms of sale of defamatory pictures as prohibited
and this has resulted in apprehension in minds of criminals.
Another very important change from previous legislations is the much required change in the
procedure of providing evidence in the court of law. After the Mathura rape case the outcry
did result in amendment of Section 114A of the Indian Evidence Act. This was done to
maintain that despite there being the lack of consent given by the women, there was often a
character assassination of the women at the court trials which was very unfortunate. Thus
there was a transition from earlier legislations and Section 53A of the Indian Evidence Act
was introduced making it explicit that in a trial where there was sexual assault or rape then
the evidence supplied relating to the victims previous sexual experience or even for a matter
of fact her character could not be admissible in the court of law. Still is unfortunate that the
character assassination of the victim continues in the society which increases the hurt suffered
by the victim. On instances of rape or sexual assault cases the evidence concerning consent is
25 Oxford English Dictionary, available at
26 Lance Rothenberg, Rethinking Privacy: Peeping Toms, Video Voyeurs, and the failure of
criminal law to recognize a reasonable expectation of privacy in the public space, American
University Law Review, 49, 1127.

often derived on the basis of the past conduct of the woman which seems rather frivolous as
at the instance of the abuse she might not have consented thus constituting the criminal act. In
earlier cases prostitutes could be raped and their right would not be protected as the victims
previous sexual experience and promiscuous character would always malign the
proceedings and create a bias in the judiciarys mind. The sole reason for this inclusion of this
amendment was to prevent the breach of privacy of the victims sexual history by preventing
it to be included as a piece of evidence in court. Thus unwarranted intrusion in the privacy of
the victims life should not be supported by members of the civil society. The new law
protected defamation of the woman and rights of the woman to live with dignity.27
Lastly and very importantly, there was also an introduction of sexual harassment at workplace
(under section 354 of the IPC in addition to the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013)
and an enhanced definition of rape provided for in the amended law. The earlier legislation
had focused on coercion28 and the fear of death or hurt of someone close to her 29 as an
example of force exerted or lack of consent when there was commission of rape. Another
example of deceit which culminated into the act of committing rape was commission of false
To conclude with the comparison between the legislations it can be said that the two major
substantive changes were introduction of sixteen forms of rape (Penetration made by object
and all parts of body included) and also the increase in age of consent. Both were introduced
to combat rise of rapes committed on minors specifically. Though there was another
28 State of Maharashtra v. Prakash, AIR 1992 SC 1275: 1993 Supp (1) SCC 653.
29 State of Himachal Pradesh v. Mango Ram, (2000) 7 SCC 224.
30 Jayanti Rani Panda v. State of West Bengal, 1984 Cr LJ 1535.

recommendation by the J.S.Verma Committee which wanted to introduce marital rape under
section 375 but this was not allowed as it would have been a social controversy. One must
also note that the sexual harassment at workplace which was for the first time highlighted in
the case of Sakshi v. Union of India 31 which was a public interest litigation


punishments for sexual harassment committed against women at workplaces. It also wanted
to widen the interpretation of rape to include all forms of penetration to be covered, the court
had then given the decision in favor of the NGO but the parliament was did not recognize it.
The 2013 Amendment and Act made this a reality as it gave sanction to the judgment. So I
believe laws can be made much more stringent than they already are.

31 AIR 2004 SC 3566.