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Sexual Assault and the Law
Sexual assault and the law
KalpanaKannabiran
Introduction

The issue of sexual assault has confounded Indian courts over the past three-and-a-half decades. While the problem was, to begin with, in the way in which the offence of rape was constructed in the Penal Code, the more difficult problem had to do with the place of rape and, the woman's sexualised body in the social imaginary in India. The early experiences of Mathura (a working-class Adivasi girl) and Rameeza Bee (a working-class Muslim girl) marked the beginnings of feminist engagement with criminal law, particularly the issue of custodial violence and custodial rape. A re-examination of these two cases also points to the ways in which sexual integrity is tied, even within the domain of criminal ...

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