‘Digital rape’ has created a buzz across the country. So there might be speculation that the term ‘digital’ prefixed to the word ‘rape’ is linked to the digital world. However, digital rape has nothing to do with gadgets like computers, phones, laptops or Meta-owned platforms. The word is derived from the English word ‘digit’, whose literal meaning is number and integer.
Additionally, the word also means finger or toes. The phrase ‘digital rape’ is gender neutral and is applicable to all kinds of victims and offenders. The rape victims are further divided into two categories: majors and minors. As per Section 375 of the POCSO Act, there are two kinds of perpetuators who commit crimes — minor digital rapists and major digital rapists. People who commit this kind of crime are charged with an amount of Rs 50,000 under Sections 5 and 6 of the POCSO Act.
As per Section 3 of the POCSO Act, ‘Any person who commits to inserting, to any extent, any object or a part of the body, not being the penis, into the vagina, the urethra or anus of the child or makes the child do so with him or any other person is considered as penetrative sexual assault. Laws considering digital rape came into effect after 2012. Till then, digital rape was not mentioned in the Indian Penal code(IPC). Previously, it came under the classification of molestation instead of rape.
The recent case involves a three-year-old girl facing digital rape by a 65-year-old man in Noida West.
The incident occurred in Noida’s Salarpur town where a man named Akbar Ali performed digital rape on a three-year-old girl.
The man lured the little kid with toffees and took advantage of her being alone at her place.
The person was sentenced on August 30, 2022, and was convicted on the charges of offences under section 5(m)/6 of the POCSO Act.
Initially, the culprit was detained and not penalised or charged in accordance with Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code that marks rape offences.
DIGITAL RAPE: PUNISHMENT
According to the POCSO Act, the offender will be punished with a jail term of five years and if it comes under Section 376 of the POCSO Act, the jail term can be extended from a time period of 10 years to life imprisonment.