ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Law Commission Reports on Rape

At times the reports of the Law Commission are much more progressive than those that eventually go into amendments. On the other hand, a feminist perspective suggests that they reinforce colonial and patriarchal values. Using insights from feminist methodology, this article seeks to analyse this dichotomy. According to feminist legal theory, the legal subject is not an abstract, gender-neutral creature of the traditional legal imagination but an ideological construct, endowed with attributes that vary according to context. Between 1956 and 2009, four Law Commission reports addressed the issue of rape. However, it is noteworthy that there has been little to no change in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code since 1860 when Thomas Macaulay drafted the code. The controversial issue of consent has not been defined or broadened, nor have the various nuances associated with it recognised. The law ministry has not accepted the terminological and paradigmatic shift from rape to sexual assault.

REVIEW OF WOMEN S STUDIES

Law Commission Reports on Rape

Rukmini Sen

At times the reports of the Law Commission are much more progressive than those that eventually go into amendments. On the other hand, a feminist perspective suggests that they reinforce colonial and patriarchal values. Using insights from feminist methodology, this article seeks to analyse this dichotomy. According to feminist legal theory, the legal subject is not an abstract, gender-neutral creature of the traditional legal imagination but an ideological construct, endowed with attributes that vary according to context. Between 1956 and 2009, four Law Commission reports addressed the issue of rape. However, it is noteworthy that there has been little to no change in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code since 1860 when Thomas Macaulay drafted the code. The controversial issue of consent has not been defined or broadened, nor have the various nuances associated with it recognised. The law ministry has not accepted the terminological and paradigmatic shift from rape to sexual assault.

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