Adultery is an offence defined in Section 497 under chapter 20 of the Indian Penal Code, dealing with the offences  marriage  

Rape is an offence defined under Section 375 and custodial rape under Section 376B to 376D.  It is defined in chapter 16 of the Indian Penal Code relating to offences Affecting the human body.  


Definition :

Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor (Section 497).

Definition :

A man is said to commit “rape” who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a women under circumstances falling under any of the six following description :

First - Against her will.

Secondly - Without her consent.

Thirdly - With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.

 Fourthly - With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.

Fifthly - With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.

Sixthly - With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age. (Section 375)


Offence against whom?

Adultery is an offence against the husband.  

Offence against whom?

Rape is an offence against the women herself irrespective of married or unmarried.



In the case of Adultery the consent of the woman is immaterial. In fact, the woman is always a willing and consenting party to sexual intercourse.  


Consent is a defence to rape. In the case of rape of the offence is committed against the will and without the consent of the women.  However, if the girl is under sixteen years of age the offence can be committed even with her consent.   


Aggrieved Party:  The husband is the aggrieved party.

Aggrieved Party : Women herself


Adultery may be committed only when the woman is married and she is the wife of someone.

Rape can be committed on any women married or unmarried.


Adultery cannot be commit with
1) an unmarried woman,

2) a widow

3) a married woman when her husband consents to or connives at it, or  

4) a divorced women

Rape cannot committed when the women has consented for the sexual intercourse except when the women is under 16 years of age.


Punishment :  

 Adultery is less serious offence and punishment may extend up to five years imprisonment or fine or both.  

Punishment :

 Rape is more serious offence and punishment may extend upto life imprisonment or ten years which may be reduced adequate or special reasons.  


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