Criminal Law Amendment Act


The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 is an Indian legislation passed by the Lok Sabha on 19 March 2013, and by the Rajya Sabha on 21 March 2013, which provides for amendment of Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 on laws related to sexual offences. The Bill received Presidential assent on 2 April 2013 and deemed to come into force from 3 February 2013. It was originally an Ordinance promulgated by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, on 3 February 2013, in light of the protests in the 2012 Delhi gang rape case.


Against the backdrop of nationwide outrage over the tragic Delhi gang-rape case of Nirbhaya, incident of 16 December 2012, propelled the Government of India to drive the issue of violence against women to a centre stage. Hence, a three member judicial committee was set up headed by the former Chief Justice of India J.S. Verma, the key objective of the committee was to review for possible amendments to the criminal law and suggest measures for faster trials and harsher penalties. The recommendations by the committee were based on more 80,000 suggestions by eminent jurists, social activists, legal professionals, NGO’s, through varied methods.

The Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013 is also popularly known as the Anti-rape Act. It amends the following:

  • The Indian Penal Code, 1806
  • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  • The Indian Evidence Act, 1872
  • Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012


Section Offence/ Issue Definition Criminal Amendment Act, 2013
Insertion of Section 166A of IPC Disobedience of law by public servant Failure to record information in sexual offences cases; knowingly disobeys laws in investigation Punishable with rigorous imprisonment for 6 months to 2 years and liable to fine.
Insertion of Sections 326 A and B of IPC Acid Attack Throwing of acid attack on woman for a multitude of reasons, including alleged adultery, turning down advances from a man, also as domestic violence. Causes partial or permanent deformity or burns on any person. Specific Offence under the act, Punishable with 10 years Imprisonment extendable to life imprisonment or fine or both.The fine amount should be sufficient for the medical expenses of the victim.
Insertion of Section 354 A of IPC Sexual harassment and punishment for the same Any physical contact, advances involving unwelcoming and sexual behaviors, demand of sexual favour, showing pornography against will, any sexually coloured remark. Punishment for the offences mentioned except for sexually coloured remarks are punishable with imprisonment of a term extending upto 3 years, fine or bothIn case of sexually coloured remarks the punishment can extend up to an imprisonment of 1 year, fine or both.
Insertion of Section 354B of IPC Compelling a woman to remove her clothes Compelling a woman to remove her clothes and be naked also if she has agreed to it voluntarily, video graphing the same and making it available to third person without her consent is an offence Punishable with imprisonment 3 to 7 years
Insertion of Section 354C of IPC Voyeurism Watching a woman when she is engaged in a private act including sexual acts, like use of lavatory, or when private parts are exposed. Specific offence only protects women First time the offence is punishable with 1 to 3 years imprisonment and fine. Second time is punishable with 3 to 7 years.
Insertion of Section 354 D of IPC Stalking Following a woman, attempting to foster personal interaction despite indication of victim’s disinterest, spying, monitoring electronic communication Specific Offence only against a woman First time punishable with 1 to 3 years imprisonment. (Bailable) Second offence is punishable with up to 5 years. (Non- Bailable)
Age of Consent Legal age of Consent at which a person is considered competent to give consent for sexual intercourse Has been increased from 16 years to 18 years
Substituted Section 375 of IPC Rape Has included more actions under the purview of rape such unconsented penetration of mouth, urethra, vagina, anus with penis or other objects, and unconsented application of mouth to vagina, urethra and anus. Rigorous imprisonment of 7 years extendable to life imprisonment.Marital Rape has not been included as an offence if the wife is 15 years and above.
Insertion 376 (2)(c) of IPC Rape by personnel of armed forces Armed forces includes naval, military, and air forces, paramilitary forces, auxiliary forces that are under the control of central or state government. Specific Punishment punishable with RI for a description which shall not be less than 7 years or may extend to Life Imprisonment.
Insertion 376 A of IPC Rape resulting in death or vegetative state Causing death or persistent vegetative state when committing rape. Punishable with RI for 6 months to 2 years and fine
Insertion Section376 D of IPC Gang Rape Where a person is raped by one or more persons in a group acting in furtherance of a common intention, each of these persons shall be deemed to have committed the offence of gang rape, regardless their gender Imprisonment upto 20 years extendable to RI Life Imprisonment. And fine that meets the medical expenses of the victim.
Section376 E of IPC Repeat of offences. Repeat of these offences under Section 376, 376 A and 376 D Punishable with Life imprisonment or death.
Amendment Section 197 of Code of Criminal Procedure Explanation added No sanction required in case of a public servant accused of an offence alleged to have been under 166A, 166 B, 354, 354 A, 354 B, 354 C, 354 D, 370, 375, 376, 376A, 376 D or Section 509 of IPC
Amendment of Section 309 of Code of Criminal Procedure. Trial to be held on day-to-day basis. In case of rape cases, trial to be completed within 2 months of filling of charge sheet
Insertion of Section 357 C of Code of Criminal Procedure. All hospitals whether private or public or run by any other person to provide free medical aid to the victim of offences covered under Section 376 A-E
Section   53 A Evidence of character or previous sexual experience Is not relevant. Bars the use of sexual history in determining the consent of the woman. Bars cross examination as the general immoral character of the victim.
Section 114A Resumption as to Consent Shifts the onus on accused, also if the victim states in the court that she did not give consent the court will presume the same.
Section 119 Special Provisions for evidence of differently abled persons Court to use the assistance of interpreters to take evidence of differently abled persons. Such evidence to be considered evidence when given in open court. Statement to be video recorded