Bishnu MohanBishnu Mohan, posted on on 1st Nov, 2017, 6 Views

The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013: Does it Effectively Protect Women?

Indian tradition and culture glorified women as the creator who gives birth and worshipped as Goddess. But now it has become a society which is unable to respect, protect and nurture its women. Time is also helpless by watching the women suffering in the form of discrimination, oppression, exploitation, degradation, aggression, humiliation.

Answer ImageBecause of the orthodox belief of society, the violence increases against women not only in domestic but also in public, physical, emotional, and mental.The fear of violence blocks the participation of women in every sphere of life. One gender is dominating and controlling the whole space of India. Still now in the era of globalization and modernization, the crime against women has been increased.

Crime Against Women:

Abuse is a form of violence against women which may be domestic or outside violence. Violence against women includes limiting the rights of women, forcing to compromise their physical and mental health and erodes their self-esteem which leads to injury, permanent health issues, chronic pain, physical disability, depression, and suicide.

Answer ImageEve teasing is a type of harassment of women by the men such as passing indecent comments. Similarly another disgusting act that targets women is Molestation. Molestation is an action of perversion such as touching, rubbing, groping, teasing, staring, pinching, slapping, display of private parts and even pornographic material.

It may be committed by the same gender or opposite gender which violates a woman’s privacy. In the eyes of law, it is equally a heinous crime as eve teasing and has severe punishment for the doer and the supporter. Molestation is a sexual abuse which forcing a person for the undesired sexual remark by another person in private or public places.

Government Rules and Regulations:

Crime against women also includes some of the nuisance crimes such as acid throwing, child marriage, domestic violence, dowry, and honor killings, accusations of witchcraft, rape, and trafficking. There are various legislations for the safeguarding of women which are classified into two categories. According to Indian Penal Code (IPC), the crimes against women are:

  • Section 376: Rape
  • Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
  • Section 509: Sexual Harassment
  • Section 366-B: Importation of girls
  • Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956
  • Section 498-A: both mental and physical torture
  • Section 363-373: Kidnapping for specified purpose
  • Section 302/304-B: Death or attempt to death regarding dowry
  • As per Special and Local Laws (SLL), there are acts protecting crime against women.
  • Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986
  • Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987
  • Othersafety laws or acts to protect women such as
  • Guardians & Wards Act, 1890
  • Christian Marriage Act, 1872
  • Indian Evidence Act, 1872
  • Married Women's Property Act, 1874
  • Workmen's compensation Act, 1923
  • Indian Succession Act, 1925
  • Minimum Wages Act, 1948
  • Prevention of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012
  • Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
  • Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application,1937
  • Indecent Representation of Women(Prevention) Act,1986
  • Special Marriage Act, 1954
  • Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  • Hindu Succession Act, 1956
  • Foreign Marriage Act, 1969
  • Family Courts Act, 1984
  • Maternity Benefit Act,1861
  • Hindu Adoption & Maintenance ACT,1956
  • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act,1971
  • National Commission for Women Act, 1990
  • The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection)] Act, 1994
  • Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition &Redressal) Act, 2013
  • Indian Divorce Act, 1969
  • Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
  • Hindu Widows Remarriage Act, 1856
  • Muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) Act, 1986

But there was no specific differentiation between major and minor rape in terms of laws. After the brutal gang rape of physiotherapy intern ‘Nirbhaya’ in Delhi on 16th December 2012, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Govt. of India, and Govt. of Delhi suggested reforming the law to protect women. J.S. Verma the judge of Supreme Court planned an amendment to the criminal law with a team of justices and lawyers. The law is known as The Criminal Act,2013.

The Criminal Law Act, 2013:

The act was applied from 3rd April 2013. It is an amendment of Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The laws are related to sexual offenses. It includes the new offenses like acid attack, sexual harassment, voyeurism, stalking in Indian Penal Code. The sections have mentioned below with offense and its punishment.

Section 326A: Acid Attack:

Imprisonment is minimum ten years or may extend to the life-time imprisonment. The suspect will pay all the medical expenses to the victim. This article considers both the genders.

Section 326B: Attempt to Acid Attack:

Imprisonment is minimum five years and the maximum is seven years. This article also considers both the genders.

Section 354A: Sexual Harassment:

It protects only women.Imprisonment is up to three years for the offense described in clauses (i), (ii) or (iii) and up to one year for other clauses. The clauses are as follows

  • Physical contact like unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures.
  • A request or demand for sexual favors
  • Making colored remark in sexual activity
  • Showing pornography forcefully
  • Any other type of undesired physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

Section: 354B: Act with intent to disrobe a woman:

The punishment is minimum three years and maximum seven years. This article is for women only. If the suspect assaults or force any woman such as the act with the intention of disrobing the victim to be naked then he is punished according to this article.

Section 354C: Voyeurism:

The punishment is imprisonment for one year for the first conviction. The imprisonment is minimum three years and extends up to seven years for the second and consecutive conviction. It protects only women. Watching a woman in private act and clicking pictures is an offensive crime. If The suspect does any act which harms the privacy of a woman then he will be punished under this article.

Section 354D: Stalking

Imprisonment is minimum one year and maximum three years.This law protects only women who are stalked by men. The man who follows and tries to contact her for personal interaction repeatedly is considered as suspect. There are other acts which are the exception to this section but considered as a crime such as stalking a woman using electronic communications such as the internet, SMS, e-mail and much more.

Approach to Reduce CAW:

People should aware about the rules, laws properly and file a case at the nearest police station regarding rape, assault, dowry death or any type of CAW. The govt. should concern about promoting the laws.Punishment process should be more fast tracks and it should be public through media. Proper city planning is more necessary. Globalization and modernization are implemented as soon as possible in villages and slums.

Answer Image“Zero Tolerance”needs to be executed properly. The reformation is needed in Indian Police System and quality of policing should improve. Only 14 states have performed according to the New Police Act and amendment of existing law which is incorporated by SC’s suggestion. Still, now there is no specific law against marital rape which is also a crime. It has been included in Physical violent crime.

Conclusion:

Every day and every minute a man can’t step ahead without women with the relation of a mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter. But these women are harassed, assaulted, molested and violated in his every walk of life such as a girl baby children, young child, sister, wife, and mother. Please give equal opportunities to both the genders to live without any fear in the society. Be alert and stay safe. Let’s join hands and respect women and fight for their respect. Make an India as written in Vedas “the place of Goddesses”.

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