F India’s Legal Provisions on Necrophilia

India’s Legal Provisions on Necrophilia: Indian Criminal Law

India’s Legal Provisions on Necrophilia: Indian Criminal Law

Posted By:Admin    Posted On: 31-Jan-2024

Necrophilia is a term used to describe the unnatural sexual attraction towards the corpses/dead bodies. Since time immemorial, necrophilia is diagnosed as a rare and uncommon disorder. The word “Necrophilia” is derived from ‘nekros’ means ‘dead body’ and ‘philia’ means attraction. It is a paraphilia in which a person gains the sexual pleasure from dead bodies. The matter of question is whether Necrophilia is a crime under Indian Penal Code? In the year 2023, the Karnataka High Court ruled that rape with a dead body does not fall under the ambit of Sections 375 & 376 IPC and therefore is not punishable under IPC. A bench of Justice B. Veerappa and Venkatesh Naik recommended that IPC should be amended in order to protect the dignity of a dead body. Therefore, it must be a punishable offence under Section 377 IPC, which mentions the provision of unnatural offences. According to Section 46 of IPC, ‘Death’ means ‘death of a human being’ that conclusively says that it only includes a living body not dead. With a view of this definition, the court opined that in order to accomplish the offence of rape, the person must be living during the commission of rape. A dead person can niether give consent or protest the same, nor can it be in fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury. The court also look behind at the ruling passed in 1989 in Pt. Parmanand Katara, Advocate v. Union of India and held that, “the dignity of a dead body must be maintained and respected while establishing a corresponding duty on the state to ensure decent cremation is served to the person. The “right to dignity and fair treatment under Article 21 of the Constitution of India is not only available to a living man but also to his body after his death,” the ruling said. Necrophilia is not a popular crime due to which law is silent about it. The reasons behind it are limited research in psychological aspects of necropliliacs. 

Legal Provisions in India:

There are certain loopholes in criminal law prevailing in our country. Section 297 IPC which deals with the offence of Trespassing on burial grounds. This section does not specifically mention the necrophilic activity. It says that Whoever, with the intention of wounding the feelings of any person, or of insulting the religion of any person, or with the knowledge that the feelings of any person are likely to be wounded, or that the religion of any person is likely to be insulted thereby, commits any trespass in any place of worship or on any place of sepulture, or any place set apart for the performance of funeral rites or as a depository for the remains of the dead, or offers any indignity to any human corpse, or causes disturbance to any persons assembled for the performance of funeral ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both. This section can be interpreted in a wider sense but still it cannot be applied unless there is any trespass to the burial grounds with the intention to insult the religion or hurt the religious sentiments. If a person is murdered and then raped then also, such an offence cannot be included under this section. For this, an amendment is necessary in IPC.