Validity of sexual offences against men in India
by Abinaya Rangarajan
The fourth prevalent crime in India has been sexual crime.
A report states that India is the world’s most dangerous place for women. Women were also viewed as victims of rape or sexual assault as the physically weaker segments of the society. Women have much beneficial legislation for fostering the well-being of the female population. The definition of equality under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution indicates that everybody before the eye of the law is equal. Nevertheless, the welfare statute has not yet guaranteed equal recognition for men and women. Security from the sexual harassment under Indian Penal Code does not extend to other groups such as men and transgender. The 2019 Act recognized that the sexual crime against a transgender is a petty offense that levied a minimal sentence. The worst thing is a sexual assault on a man is not even a crime. Such legal provisions for sexual offenses against men have been introduced by several international nations. Some countries have at least recognized such an offense as a crime.
Comparison between Indian report and US report:
US report states that approximately 18.3% women and 1.4% of men being raped. Here 18.3% women are raped and correspondingly 1.4% men are raped in the society.
When looking into child abuse, 2007 survey by the Indian government reported 57.3% of boy victims and 42.7 girl victims.
Sexual crimes have become the fourth prevalent crime in India. Country like India failed to recognize the rape against.
Sexual harassment against men are not reported, even if reported such offense is not recognized by the Indian Criminal justice system
The UK government enacted sexual offences Act, 1956. Section 12 of the said Act prohibited anal sex between men. Sexual offences Act (1967) decriminalized the anal sex between men aged over 21.
United States is the first country in the world to recognize male rape. It criminalized male rape under Criminal Justice and public order Act, 1994. The first rape case appeared before the court in 1996- R vs. Richards 
Sexual offences Act, 2008 (Scotland) also recognizes the male rape as an offence of rape.
Legislative history in India:
In India, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 provide protection for both male victims and female victims below the age of 18.
Existing Indian Criminal Justice System does not recognize rape of males as an offence.
- 172nd law commission report:
In Sakshi vs. Union of India, a writ petition was filed under Article 32 of the Indian constitution.
The main question posed was the term sexual intercourse should include are forms of penetration, that it is it should also include all kinds of penile/vaginal penetration, penile/oral penetration, penile/anal penetration, finger/vaginal penetration, finger/anal penetration, and object/vaginal penetration under the ambit of Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.
Based on the interpretation of the case, the court ordered the Law Commission of India to examine and review the rape laws. The report suggested that the offense of rape should be substituted by the offense of sexual assault, by making the crime gender-neutral for forcible penile/vaginal penetration.
Major recommendations of this report:
- The word rape should be substituted with the term “sexual assault”
- Punishment for sexual assault should be enhanced.
- Nirbhaya case:
Nirbhaya case is the popularly known Delhi gang rape case, 2012. It is the infamous case which portrayed India an unsafe place for women. In this case four men gang rape a girl, inserted an iron rod in her private part. This brutal and inhuman activity of these men was widely criticised but still rapists were hanged seven years later.
This delay in Indian Criminal justice system was also strongly criticized.
Myths saying men cannot be raped:
This case strengthened certain myths such as
- Men are physically stronger sections of the society, so they can’t be a victim of rape: Some men may be physically weak or some women can be even more physically stronger than men. Men can be even raped by men.
- men are masculine so they cannot get raped
- Men always want sex.
- Men experience less traumatisation.
By summarizing the above myths, some say that Men cannot be raped.
But the untold truth is:
- Men are emotionally or mentally weaker sections than women. Women will face fewer traumas, addiction, etc than men, because women are mentally strong enough to overcome trauma, addiction, depression, etc.
- Mental weakness of men only stipulates men to excessive drug abuse, which sometimes results in rape against women.
- When men be a victim of sexual assault, his mental conditions will get worse and his personal life will be affected. His wife and children will also get affected. The thing is he doesn’t have a remedy for the crime witnessed by him. When the victim being men, the perpetrator is women or men or transgender.
After the worse experience of the Nirbhaya case, the government formed a committee to recommend legal reforms and also to suggest possible ways to eliminate sexual violation. This committee was headed by Justice Verma, and this committee is also called as Justice Verma committee.
The main aim of this committee is to provide a strong Anti-rape law. It also recommended strong law for offences committed against women. It also highlighted gender equality.
Finally, based on the recommendations of the committee, Criminal law (amendment) Act, 2013 was passed.
Because of increasing sexual crimes against women and also by recognizing the infamous case (Nirbhaya case), this 2013 bill was not enacted as an Amendment Act.
- Criminal law (Amendment) Act, 2019:
This amendment bill was introduced by K T S Tulsi, member of Rajya Sabha. The recommended that
- the definition of modesty should also include men and transgender under section 2 of IPC
- For the offences like outraging the modesty, sexual harassment, criminal intent to disrobe, voyeurism and stalking ( section 354- 354D of IPC), the sex of the perpetrator and the victim may not be specific. Gender of the perpetrator/victim may be male, female or Transgender. The aim of the bill is to make this section Gender neutral.
- This bill proposes changes to Section 375. The section 375 is of the view that the perpetrator is always a man and victim is always a woman. As like Sakshi vs. Union of India, the term sexual intercourse should include all forms of penetration. An act may be done a man to a woman or by a woman to a man, or by a transgender to male/female.
- This Bill also proposes a new section, Section 375A, which gives penalty for touching the private part of a person, or intends a person to touch the private parts.
- The Bill also proposes the following sections to be gender-neutral, except provisions relating to child custody and rape of a woman: Section 376A, 376B, 376C and 376D of IPC
The Supreme Court in Tarkeshwar Sahu vs. State of Bihar, the court underlined the essence of modesty of a woman. When there is an injury to the bodily integrity, the offender is liable under Section 354. The above act amount to an offence, because of the sex of the women. This standard might have given to male and Transgender also.
The injury to the male victim and female victim always are not the same in case of sexual offences. But still male victim faces some injury (which may be comparatively lesser than a female victim). Article 14 of the Indian Constitution promotes Right to equality; such a right should include gender equality also. There is a remedy for female victim of a rape. There is a remedy for transgender victim of rape under 2019 Act (but still the penalty seems to be a punishment for a petty offence). Male victim below the age of 18 are protected under POSCO Act (2012).
An Adult male victim (of rape) does not have any remedy under Indian Criminal Justice System. A male victim may be raped by a woman or a transgender. A male can be even raped by male.
When the perpetrators were male, the only remedy for the male victim is from Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code
 R vs. Richards(1996) 2 Cr App. R(S) 16 7
Appeal (crl.) 1036 of 2005 - https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1438339/