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Should Death Sentence be the Only Punishment for Rape in India?

In India, culprits are liable to life imprisonment (which is actually 14 years), imprisonment for entire life and even the death sentence in the rarest of rare cases.
Four Held for Gangrape of Minor
File Image: (Agencies)

India, a country whose majority population has worshipped Goddesses for centuries, sadly has a long history of rape cases and sexual assaults. The horrifying Nirbhaya gang rape case in 2012 outraged people all over the country.  There were country-wide protests and the backdrop of it, amendments were made to the rape laws in 2013 by passing the Anti-Rape bill.

As per the bill, culprits are liable to life imprisonment (which is actually 14 years), imprisonment for entire life and even the death sentence in the rarest of rare cases.

However, in spite of such measures, the rape statistics of the country have not come down. In 2018, a global survey listed India as the most unsafe place for women to live in. In addition, data released by the National Crime Reports Bureau in September 2020 stated that India recorded an average of 87 rape cases daily in 2019 and overall 4,05,861 cases of crime against women during the year. And what is more horrifying is the fact that every 16 minutes, a woman is raped somewhere in India.

On the other hand, different governments across the globe have come up with stronger laws against sexual assault to make their countries a safer place for their female citizens. While majority of the countries have adopted death sentence as a punishment for rape, few others have implemented strict imprisonment for the rape convicts

Here is a look at the rape punishments of other countries:


China has the law of punishing the rapist straight away with a death sentence. In some scenarios, rapists are also punished by the mutilation of their genitals.


In Iran, it is said that a rapist is either hanged or shot to death in public. Sometimes, the guilty escape the death penalty by permission from the victim but is still liable for 100 lashes or life imprisonment.


Any kind of sexual assault, even including a kiss without consent is considered rape in the Netherlands. The rapist is punished with imprisonment ranging from 4 to 15 years depending on the age of the convict.

Even a sexual assault on a prostitute will lead to an imprisonment of 4 years in the Netherlands whereas most of the countries are not concerned about the sexual assault on prostitutes.


In France, the rapist is punished with 15 years of jail time with torture which can be extended to 30 years or life imprisonment depending upon the extent of damage caused to the victim.


Justice is given to the victim in Afghanistan in just four days by shooting the rapist in the head.

North Korea

North Korea has no leniency for the crime, like rape. Instant justice is given to the rape victim by shooting the rapist in the head by a squad.


In Russia, the convict has to serve a term of imprisonment for over 3 years, which can go up to 30 years depending on the harm done to the victim.

Saudi Arabia

If a person is convicted of rape in Saudi Arabia, then he is executed in public within days of the trial.


In UAE, the punishment of sexual assault or rape is death by hanging. There is no compensation, if you commit rape, you die within 7 days.


In Greece, if the convict of the crime is found guilty of rape, he is punished with incarceration.


In Egypt, the rapist is hanged in public places so that people may become aware of the consequence of this heinous crime.


The USA has two kinds of law – state law and federal law. If a rape case falls under the category of federal law, then the rapist can be fined or awarded life imprisonment. Though state laws of rape punishments differ from state to state.


In Norway, the rapist is punished with the detainment of 4 to 15 years, depending upon the degree of damage to the victim.


In Israel, the rapist gets imprisoned for a minimum of four years and a maximum of 16 years.


Twenty years for the crime of rape. If it is rape or fatal rape at the scene of any other crime like robbery, then the death penalty.

Thus, comparing the rape laws of India to the other countries it is clear that considering the punishments meted out in other countries, India is too soft on rape convicts. Also, the Shakti Mills, Hathras, Unnao, Baduan, Kathua, Gorakhpur rape cases which have taken place after the anti rape bill, 2013, have made it clear time and time again that stricter rape laws are the need of the hour if it wants its women to feel protected.

What do you think?

Written by Headline8 Desk


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