This article was written by Vatsala Bharadwaj a student of university of petroleum and energy studies on account of her submission for 1st National Article writing Competition organized by Racolb Legal in which she scored 6th position.
Women enjoy a unique position in every society and country of the world. In spite of their contribution in all spheres of life, they suffer in silence and belong to a class which is in a disadvantaged position on account of several barriers and impediments. India, being a country of paradoxes is no exception. The global campaign for elimination of violence and harassment against women in the recent years indicates the enormity as well as the seriousness of the atrocities committed against women that are being witnessed the world over. Changes in lifestyle, living standards, disparity in economic growth due to urbanization, and changes in social ethos and lack of concern for moral values, contribute to more violent tendencies towards women. Such incidents are a matter of serious concern and its containment is a necessity, so that the women of India attain their rightful share and can live with dignity, honor, freedom and peace.
Law Relating to Crimes against Women
- Rape: In the penal laws of all countries, sexual offenses against women occupy significant place and out of all the crimes, the one which shocks the conscience, and shakes its roots, and is the most heinous, is rape. According to National Crime Records, which reflect the social degeneration, almost 75% of rapists are married men who have sex regularly at home, 86% women do not feel safe in cities, three out of every ten rapists are either friends or relatives of victim. According to WHO, every 54 minutes a woman is raped in India; whereas as per a CDWP study, 42 women are raped in India every 35 minutes.
- Sexual Intercourse and Penetration: In State of Kerala v. Kundumkara Govindam , it was held that the crux of the offence under Section 376, IPC is rape and it postulates a sexual intercourse. The word intercourse means sexual connection.
CASES : Ghanshyam Mishra v. State
Prithi Chand v. State of H.P.
Madan Lal v. State of J & K
- Consent : Absence of Inquiry- In Pratap Mishra v. State of Orissa and Laiq Singh v. State of U.P., the Supreme Court delivered a judgment which went unnoticed and did not cause any ripples amongst the various NGOs. In both cases, women were raped and the accused were acquitted by the Supreme Court after consecutive convictions in two subordinate courts on the ground that absence of any injury on the prosecutrix indicates consent of the prosecutrix.
In 1978, the Supreme Court again pronounced another like judgment against a conviction of the Bombay High Court under Section 375 of the Bombay High Court and held the accused not guilty on three grounds:
- There were no injuries shown by the medical report and thus “stiff resistance having been put by the girl” is false. The alleged intercourse was a peaceful affair ;
- The Court disbelieved the testimony that she had raised alarm.
Crimes Under the Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Rape and Custodial Rape (sec 375, 376, 376 A, 376B, 376C and 376D)
- Kidnapping and abduction for different purposes (363 -373 of IPC)
- Murder for dowry; dowry death, or their attempts (s 302, 304 and 307 of IPC)
- Torture – both mental and physical (s 498A of IPC)
- Molestation (s 354 of IPC)
- Sexual Harassment (eve teasing ) (s 509 of IPC)
- Importation of girls (up to 21 years of age) (s 366 B of IPC)
WOMEN AND INDUSTRIAL LAW
- EQUAL REMUNERATION ACT, 1976
The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 was passed to provide for the payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers and for the prevention of discrimination, on the grounds of sex, against women in the matter of employment and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT, 1961
International attention, on maternity protection, of the world community was attracted when the first Maternity Protection Conference was convened in 1919 by the International Labour Organisation. In this, matters relating to maternity leave, economic benefits during absence of work, leave for bringing up children and non- termination of service during pregnancy and immediately after delivery were deliberated upon and a resolution passed. The resolution of this convention was amended in 1952 which increased maternity leave.
Women safety is treated as one of the major issues in the country and in each meeting of the parliament one or the other issue related to women safety is raised and many a times even new bills are also introduced but can we say that women are safe? Actually it’s a big question on the law implementing body of the country. We have many laws for protecting women women of our country but they are not properly implemented and hence women don’t feel safe as much as they should and we have new protest from different section or different parts of our society. In 2001, the central government launched a comprehensive “National Policy for the Empowerment of Women.” The programme was ambitious and comprehensive with provisions to support women in agriculture and industry. It also aimed to provide education, health, nutrition and sanitation assistance and to reduce violence against women. While the policy has resulted in some progress over the last decade, it has been ineffective towards substantially improving the conditions for women. India still lags far behind its neighbours and other fast-developing economies in terms of gender equality. According to the 2012 Gender Inequality index from the United Nations Development Program, India was ranked at 132 out of 148 countries. Women-related programmes were a highlight of the 2013 Union budget but several women groups have stated that ineffective design makes these provisions hollow.
From the above it can be concluded that that women safety is a topic that need a lot of attention and a better implementation rather than formulating new plans all we need to do is to stand together and fight against the crime held against the women in the society.