Major Topics Covered :
LAWS ON RAPE AND SEXUAL CRIMES
DEOXY GENATION OF THE OCEAN
ASSET RECONSTRUCTION COMPANIES (ARCS)
GLOBAL CLIMATE RISK INDEX 2020
LOKPAL IS YET TO GET PROSECUTION WING
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
ABSENTEEISM IN STANDING COMMITTEES
INDIA'S FOREX RESERVES RISE TO OVER $451 BILLION
LAWS ON RAPE AND SEXUAL CRIMES
Part of GS- 1 Social Issues, 2 Polity and Governance
Why in news?
After the rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad on November 28 and the burning of a rape survivor in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, on December 5, there has been an outcry for justice for the victims.
Within and outside Parliament there has been a clamour to make the criminal justice system tougher on an offender committing sexual crimes against women and children.
Indian Penal Code, 1860:
‘Rape’ as a clearly defined offence was first introduced in the Indian Penal Code in 1860.
The rape law in India even today remains gender specific, as the perpetrator of the offence can only be a ‘man’.
Section 375 of the IPC made punishable the act of sex by a man with a woman if it was done against her will or without her consent.
The definition of rape also included sex when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested, in fear of death or of hurt.
Also, sex with or without her consent, when she is under 18 years is considered rape.
However, under the exception, sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape.
Section 376 provided for seven years of jail term to life imprisonment to whoever commits the offence of rape.
Section 228A makes it punishable to disclose the identity of the victim of certain offences including rape.
Criminal Law (Amendment) Act in 2013:
The 2013 Act increased jail terms in most sexual assault cases and also provided for the death penalty in rape cases that cause death of the victim or leaves her in a vegetative state.
It also created new offences, such as use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe, voyeurism and stalking.
The punishment for gang rape was increased to 20 years to life imprisonment from the earlier 10 years to life imprisonment.
It clearly defined offences such as use of unwelcome physical contact, words or gestures, demand or request for sexual favours, showing pornography against the will of a woman or making sexual remarks and allocated punishment.
Stalking was made punishable with up to three years in jail.
The offence of acid attack was increased to 10 years of imprisonment.
Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018:
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018, for the first time put death penalty as a possible punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years; the minimum punishment is 20 years in jail.
Another new section was also inserted in the IPC to specifically deal with rape on a girl below 16 years.
The provision made the offence punishable with minimum imprisonment of 20 years which may extend to imprisonment for life.
The minimum jail term for rape, which has remained unchanged since the introduction of the IPC in 1860, was increased from seven to 10 years.
Source: The Hindu
Part of GS-1 History
Why in news?
President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday (December 8) laid the foundation stone for a memorial to mark 200 years of the Paika Rebellion, an uprising against colonial rule that predates the rebellion of the sepoys in 1857, and is sometimes described as the first war of independence.
The Paika Memorial will come up in a 10-acre plot at the bottom of Barunei Hill in Odisha’s Khurda district.
In March 1817, The Paiks rose in rebellion under their leader Bakshi Jagabandhu and projected Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity.
The rebellion quickly spread across most of Odisha before being ruthlessly put down by the company's forces.
By May 1817, the British managed to re-establish their authority over the entire province, but it was a long while before the tranquillity finally returned to it.
The Ministry of Culture has recognised the Paika Rebellion at the national level. The decision to commemorate the bi-centenary of the revolution was announced in the 2017-18 Budget Speech.
Did the Paikas lead India’s “first war of independence”?
Through the 19th century, on either side of the great revolt of 1857, India’s vast rural areas were alive with discontent that periodically manifested itself in resistance against old inequities and new hardships.
These uprisings coincided with the military expansion of the British East India Company inside India, and forced disruptions in existing social relations in peasant and tribal communities.
Because these expressions of discontent coincided with traditional society coming into contact with European colonialists and missionaries, the uprisings are seen as expressions of resistance against colonial rule.
This is the reason why several recent descriptions of the Paika Rebellion in Odisha’s Khurda in 1817 have referred to it as the “original” first war of Indian Independence.
So who were the Paikas, and why did they rise in revolt?
The Paikas (pronounced “paiko”, literally ‘foot soldiers’), were a class of military retainers had been recruited since the 16th century by kings in Odisha from a variety of social groups to render martial services in return for hereditary rent-free land (nish-kar jagirs) and titles.
The advent of the British and establishment of colonial rule brought new land revenue settlements, which led to the Paikas losing their estates.