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Persuasive Speech

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According to the Indian Penal Code, a man is said to have committed `rape' when he has had sexual intercourse with a woman under these conditions:

Against her will

With her consent when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in, in fear of death or hurt.

With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.

With her consent, when at the time of giving such a consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication on the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature of the consequences of that of which she gives consent.

With or without her consent, when she is under 16 years of age.

Where rape is proved, the minimum punishment is ten years for custodial rape, gang rape, rape of pregnant women and minor girls under the age of 12 and seven years in other cases.



Sadly, in practice the odds are still stacked against the victim. Mathura, a 16-year-old tribal girl, had the misfortune to experience this at firsthand. On March 26, 1972, she was raped by two policemen in the compound of Desai Ganj police chowky in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. Her relatives, who had come to register a complaint, were patiently waiting outside even as this heinous act was being perpetrated in the police station. When her relatives and the crowd threatened to burn the police chowky down, the two guilty policemen, Ganpat and Tukaram, reluctantly agreed to file a panchnama.

The case came up for hearing in the sessions court on June 1, 1974. But the judgement pronounced turned out to be in favour of the accused. Mathura was accused of being a "liar". It was stated that since she was "habituated to sexual intercourse," her consent was given. Under the circumstances, only sexual intercourse could be proved not rape.

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High



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