The most dreaded, yet the most frequent; the most tabooed, yet the most discussed; the most traumatic, yet the most discarded: possibly, that is how one would describe the term ‘rape’. The gravity and brutality of the offence has drawn concerns from all quarters; yet the offence has continued unabated, with abysmally low conviction rates, even lighter and sometimes, erratic sentencing patterns and unsympathetic treatment of its victims. Rape Laws in India is a bold attempt on the part of the author to encourage a debate amongst the policy makers, judges and academicians. It analyses core issues in rape laws in force in India. The subject has been dealt with comprehensively, while unearthing the historical influences in the laws, revealing the patriarchal overtones, and criticizing the conventional and conformist traditions of judicial decision making. The entire development of the law has been traced, with emphasis on shifting concerns and focus. The numerous legislative amendments redefining the offence, enhancing punishment and procedural technicalities have been discussed, as also the judicial activism of the nineties, which contributed significantly through rights assertion and protective decision making. Apt references to international developments and municipal laws of nations have been provided in order to give a comparative treatment to the subject. Emerging issues in rape laws in India and practicable suggestions find a place in the book. Overall, it attempts an informative and critical study of the subject from diverse perspectives.
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