Country India
Year 1986
Type of Measure Violence against women > Legislation
Form of Violence Other harmful practices, Child, early and forced marriage, Sexual harassment, Sexual violence, Stalking, Trafficking, Violence against women and girls

Brief Description

The Amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which came into force in 1862 covers almost all the crimes happening in the society.  Some of the important Sections and amendments that need special mention are: 

Section 304 B: This Section was inserted in the Indian Penal Code by an amendment in 1986 and deals with dowry death - death of a woman caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage is sentenced with imprisonment for a term not less than seven years and may be extended to imprisonment for life.

Section 354: The Section deals with molestation in the form of assault or criminal force used on a woman to outrage her modesty and provides for punishment with imprisonment which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 366: This Section deals with acts of kidnapping or abduction of a woman with the intent to compel her to marry any person against her will or to be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse. Such an act is liable to imprisonment which may extend to ten years, and to a fine.

Section 366 A:This Section was inserted to protect minor girls (below the age of 18) from being forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person. Such an act is punishable with imprisonment of a period of up to ten years and to a fine.

Section 366 B: Importation of a girl (under the age of 21) from a foreign country with the intention or knowing it likely to be that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person, is punishable under this Section with imprisonment of a period of up to ten years and to a fine.

Section 376: This Section deals with punishment for rape which shall not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term which may be of up to ten years and shall also be of a  fine.

Section 498 A: This was inserted into the Penal Code in 1983 and applies to the cruelty exerced by a husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, and is punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to 3 years and with a fine.  Cruelty in this Section has been defined to cover any willful conduct that may drive a woman to commit suicide or cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health, mental or physical.

 Section 509: This section provides for the imprisonment for one year or the fine or both of a person intending to insult the modesty of a woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, of that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman.

Section 366: This Section addresses kidnapping, abduction or inducing a woman to compel her to marry.

Source of Information

Response of the Government of India to the questionnaire on violence against women 2010; CEDAW/C/IND/2-3 para. 136.