Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court in a recent order has opined that it is high time that the Central government makes amendments to the law to make necrophilia an offence.
The court also urged the Central government to either amend IPC Section 377 or introduce a separate penal provision to criminalise necrophilia.
The division bench headed by Justice B. Veerappa and Justice T. Venkatesh Naik stated: “The Central government is hereby recommended to amend the provisions of the IPC as stated supra in order to protect the dignity of the body of the deceased, in order to ensure to protect persons right of life includes right of his dead body as contemplated under Article 21 of the Constitution of India within a period of six months.”
The bench gave the order while looking into the case of the murder and rape of a young woman from Tumakuru district of the state.
The court has awarded life imprisonment to the accused Rangaraju a.k.a. Vajapayee for the murder charge.
The charges against the accused included rape on the dead body of the victim. The court could not punish him on that count as the act was not included in the legal framework.
“The rape on the dead body of a woman would not attract the offence of rape under section 375 of the IPC. It would not come within the scope of an unnatural offence under section 377 of the IPC. These sections make it clear that a dead body can’t be claimed as human or person. The provisions of IPC 375, 377 won’t apply,” the court stated.
The bench has also stated that there is punishment enumerated in the law in countries such as Britain, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa.
The bench stated that incidents of rape on dead bodies have been reported from mortuaries in the state. As a preventive measure, CCTVs will have to be installed in the mortuaries to prevent offences against a woman’s dead body.
In a period of six months, CCTVs will have to be installed in government as well as private mortuaries, the bench stated. The bench also gave directions to sensitize the staff of the mortuary.