Even minor offences against dalits may invite harsher penalty


Subodh Ghildiyal, TNN Feb 21, 2013,
(The government is planning…)

NEW DELHI: Soon, even minor offences against dalits will come with higher costs.

The government is planning to include under the Prevention of Atrocities Act offences that attract less than 10-year jail term, a move that would compound the punishment since offences under the Act are non-bailable and are tried under special courts. Presently, only crimes with more than 10-year term under IPC, with some exceptions, fall under the atrocities Act.

The 10-year bar had left serious violations like rape, kidnapping and grievous hurt out of the purview of the stringent law.

The inclusion of rape and other offences under the atrocities law would eliminate the possibility of police diluting the intensity of the crime by claiming that caste was not the ground for the offence.

According to sources, all the offences mentioned in the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, being brought as part of beefing up laws on crimes against women post-Nirbhaya case, would also attract the atrocities law if the victim is a dalit.

Union social justice ministry is mulling changes to the atrocities law that were discussed by social justice minister Selja with state ministers on Wednesday. “We plan to bring the amendments in the budget session,” she said.

The atrocities Act will now include violations like criminal conspiracy with victim being dalit (Section 120), unlawful assembly to overawe dalits or rioting, disobeying a legal direction to save an accused in anti-dalit crime.

Wrongfully restraining a dalit (Section 341) or deterring a public servant from doing his duty (Section 353) would also attract action under the atrocities law.

Importantly, the Centre is looking to ease the burden on the victim to prove that his/her caste was the reason for being targetted. The police often refuse to register case under the atrocity law by claiming that caste was not the reason for its commission.

New offences that would qualify as anti-dalit crime will include garlanding with shoes and throwing waste at the door or premises. Also, stopping a dalit from entering common property resources like burial or cremation ground, using water bodies like river or well or tank, public conveyance or road.

The government is planning to increase compensation for victims under the atrocities law, a must in all crimes against dalits. Though the Centre had hiked the compensation amount in December 2011, the Centre says it was not enough. Importantly, the compensation will be linked to inflation and be revised annually.

 

#India- 15 -year-old ‘s great escape in Jaipur #Vaw #Rape


By Sudhanshu Mishra in Jaipur, Mailtoday

THE Delhi gang rape case may not have deterred criminals from attacking women, but it has definitely made girls more alert and conscious about protecting themselves.

A 15- year- old school girl showed extraordinary presence of mind and courage in saving herself from four unidentified men who tried to abduct her from a notso- secluded stretch in Jaipur.

While none of the passersby came to her rescue, the girl pulled out a small knife she had started carrying in her bag ever since the Delhi gang rape shook the nation, and managed to force the four goons to flee.

Around 6.30 pm on Friday, the Class X student, was walking towards her coaching institute, half- a- kilometre from her residence in Shyam Nagar, when she noticed a man charging towards her while pointing her out to someone behind her.

Before she could comprehend the situation, two men grabbed her arm and pushed her into a white Mitsubishi Pajero parked on the road.

Two other miscreants were already sitting on the front seats. Before the men who abducted her could settle on the backseat, the girl kicked one of them “ below the belly”. So strong was the kick that the man fell on the road making way for her to jump out of the vehicle. This prompted the three to come out of the vehicle and try to grab her again.

The girl screamed at the top of her voice and flashed the knife, which stopped the four from pouncing on her. Whether it was her call for help or the sharpness of the blade is a matter of conjecture, but it was sufficient to make the criminals get back into the car and escape.

After returning home from the coaching institute, the braveheart narrated the incident to her parents and brother who immediately lodged a complaint with the Shyam Nagar police station.

The police had not been able to identify and locate the miscreants till Saturday evening, said station house officer Bhopal Singh. The girl could not note down the vehicle’s number but has told the police the series of the car number and its colour, Singh said.

The girl’s mother said she has been receiving self- defence training from her brother for some time now.

Talking to M AIL T ODAY , the girl, who wants to join the army, said she had a grouse with Jaipurites. “ I was shocked to see that none of the five or six people nearby came to help me.

None of them even bothered to inform the police,” she said, adding that she had never seen any of her attackers before.

Pushed into a car by four men, the 15- year- old who is trained in self defence kicked them away

 

#India-27 steps to prevent crime against women ? #Vaw #Womenrights


TNN | Feb 5, 2013, 01.14 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Sensing that the Ordinance prescribing harsher punishment for offenders is not enough to prevent crime against women, the government on Monday unveiled 27 measures like setting up crisis response centres in 100 districts, introducing ‘Women Only’ buses in cities and removing jurisdiction boundaries for police in registering criminal cases.It also issued instructions to initiate strict action against police personnel found to be either displaying bias against women or neglecting their supervisory responsibilities while registering complaints of sexual offences.

Putting in place a nationwide three-digit number (such as 100) to respond to all emergency situations on the lines of 911 or 990Emergency Management Systems in vogue in several developed countries and launching a sustained media campaign to stop negative/indecent portrayal of women in movies, TV shows and advertisements are also part of the comprehensive plan comprising 27 different measures to prevent crime against women.

“Government enlisted these suggestions after several round of discussion over the issue under the Union cabinet secretary Ajit K Seth in the past one month,” said a home ministry official.

The measures outlined changes in the police system, a review of theMotor Vehicles Act, measures to make responses to crimes against women in efficient and sensitive manner and greater accountability of enforcement agencies.

The department of women and child development will implement a scheme to provide compensation to victims of sexual assault and also a scheme for setting up Crisis Response Centres in select hospitals to provide psychological and other assistance to sexual assault victims. The proposed scheme will be implemented in a pilot phase in 100 districts from 2013-14.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will compile a database of persons convicted of criminal offences. Details of persons convicted of crimes against women will be displayed on their website. The existing Motor Vehicle Regulations will be reviewed, prescribing for increasing the quantum of fines imposed on violation of permit conditions and to bar compounding of offences beyond a certain number.

It will be made mandatory for a reporting officer to comment upon on the gender sensitivity of the police personnel in the Annual Performance Appraisal Report. Besides, plans are afoot to further develop and promote community policing.

Teachers will be given training in value education. Sustained awareness campaigns on gender equality will be undertaken in all schools and colleges and gender modules to be integrated in the curriculum at every level.

Girls students will also be trained in self defence/martial arts.

 

Adrienne Rich`s #Rape- but the hysteria in your voice pleases him best #poem #Vaw


Rape

The main character who the speaker is talking to first is a woman who has been sexually violated. She is a victim of a heinous and very private, embarrassing crime. The officer that she has reported her situation to is a policeman who patrols her area and who her family knows and trust. Her family is very close to this officer, for “he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers.” She doesn’t know him that well though, which makes her telling him about the incident that much more painful and uncomfortable. She gives him all the details of the crime and about her assailant. She has the idea that the cop may have been her rapist. The woman has a certain bit of suspicion about the officer, but she is not sure. “Rape” is a poem about a woman who is reporting a case of rape to a policeman who may just be the criminal responsible for the offense himself. The violated woman isn’t convinced that the policeman is the rapist, but the speaker defiantly suspects him.

There is a cop who is both prowler and father:

he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers,
had certain ideals.
You hardly know him in his boots and silver badge,
on horseback, one hand touching his gun.
You hardly know him but you have to get to know him:
he has access to machinery that could kill you.
He and his stallion clop like warlords among the trash,
his ideals stand in the air, a frozen cloud
from between his unsmiling lips.
And so, when the time comes, you have to turn to him,
the maniac’s sperm still greasing your thighs,
your mind whirling like crazy. You have to confess
to him, you are guilty of the crime
of having been forced.
And you see his blue eyes, the blue eyes of all the family
whom you used to know, grow narrow and glisten,
his hand types out the details
and he wants them all
but the hysteria in your voice pleases him best.
You hardly know him but now he thinks he knows you:
he has taken down your worst moment
on a machine and filed it in a file.
He knows, or thinks he knows, how much you imagined;
he knows, or thinks he knows, what you secretly wanted.
He has access to machinery that could get you put away;
and if, in the sickening light of the precinct,
and if, in the sickening light of the precinct,
your details sound like a portrait of your confessor,
will you swallow, will you deny them, will you lie your way home?
Related articles

 

#India – Changes in Criminal Law vs Justice Verma Recommendations #Vaw


Changes to law will clearly define unwelcome sexual acts

TNN | Feb 2, 2013, 04.25 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Changes to the criminal law dealing with offences against women cleared by the Cabinet aim to not only add specific new crimes but move the focus from interpreting terms like “modesty of a woman” to clear cut definitions of unwelcome sexual acts.

The government has acted on the Justice J S Verma committee’s view that provisions dealing with sexual assault need to be looked at afresh in the light of the need to cover a range of offences that need a higher degree of punishment.

Intentional contact intended to harass a person or threat of sexual violence will be dealt with under the enhanced definition of sexual assault that seeks to plug loopholes exploited by offenders seeking to argue subjectively on what constitutes “outraging the modesty of a woman”.

The government, however, did not accept the Verma committee’s view on criminalizing marital non-consensual intercourse. The issue of rape by armed forces as a specific category was also not accepted.

The pending Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2012 criminalizes sexual activities between the age of 16 to 18 years with which the Verma committee did not agree. This will mean that once the bill is passed, age of consent will become 18.

Acid attacks, a frequently reported crime often motivated by desire for revenge on an advance being rejected or a relationship souring, are seen in the context of the long-term impairment caused to a victim’s right to live with dignity.

Besides the act of throwing acid on a woman, the permanent or partial damage caused to the victim should be taken into account, the Verma committee had recommended.

Just like acid attacks, public disrobing of women is often resorted to as an act of vengeance for being spurned. Additionally, caste prejudice and women being relatively defenceless victims for enmity harboured with male members of a family also lead to disrobing.

Stalking has been seen by the Verma committee as an act that can curb a woman’s right to freedom of expression and even education in terms of younger victims. The specific offence will deal with acts of electronic intrusion and hacking. It will also address attempts to foist unwelcome attention and threat of violence.

The tough and graded punishments for rape, rape that results in severe physical damage and rape that leads to death are important amendments that have been dealt with. Aggravated rape will be punishable with 20 years jail or life term than will mean till the extent of natural life.

Changes in laws dealing with evidence are particularly significant. The question of moral character will not be put to a woman during cross-examination and there will be a presumption of lack of consent in certain prosecution cases.

Just as moral character will not be factor, neither will the sexual history or experience of a victim be deemed relevant in adjudging whether sexual assault has been committed.

This will mean that if sexual intercourse is established by the prosecution, the issue that will need to be evaluated is one of consent.

JUSTICE VERMA COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS  INDIAN PENAL CODE (1860) 
AcceptedSection 354: Sexual Assault and Punishment for Sexual Assault – Entirely accepted
Accepted in parts | Section 100:
Only Right to Private Defence— Inclusion of an acid attack u/s 326A was accepted and the rest proposed was already existing in the IPC
Not Accepted | Section 376A: 
Sexual abuse by husband upon his wife during separation—Verma Committee wanted to delete it. Was retained by MHA as marital rape was not agreed to.
Accepted | Section 354A: Assault or use of criminal force on woman with intent to disrobe her – Entirely Accepted
Accepted in parts | Section 166A:
Public Servant disobeying direction under law – Directions relating to crimes against women proposed to be made punishable upto only one year against the recommended five years as proposed by Justice Verma Committee. Rest accepted
Not Accepted | Section 376B (1): 
Rape of an Underage Person – Not accepted as the provision is in conflict with the PCSOA, 2012
Accepted | Section 354 B:
Voyeurism – Entirely accepted
Accepted in parts | Section 326A:
Voluntarily causing grievous hurt through use of acid etc. – Female circumcision proposed was not accepted. – Compensation adequate to meet at least the medical expenses incurred by the victim was not accepted. Rest was accepted
Not Accepted | Section 376 B(2) 
Punishment for causing death or a persistent vegetative state in the course of committing rape of an underage person – Death penalty was not recommended
Accepted | Section 354 C (1):
Stalking – Entirely accepted
Accepted in parts | Section 326B:
Voluntarily throwing or attempting to throw acid etc. – Compensation adequate to meet at least the medical expenses incurred by the victim was not accepted. Rest was accepted
Not Accepted | Section 376F: 
Offence of breach of Command Responsibility – Fixes vicarious criminal responsibility on the leader of a force for acts of subordinates. Not accepted
Accepted | Section 354C (2)
Punishment for stalking – Definition entirely accepted
Accepted in parts | Section 375 Rape – Gender Neutrality of the act was not recommended which was not accepted by MHA. The Bill criminalizes the sexual activities between 16 and 18 years which the Verma Committee did not agree. Verma Committee criminalizes marital non-consensual sexual intercourse which is not accepted. Rest of the recommendations were accepted
Accepted | Section 370 Trafficking of a Person – Entirely accepted
Accepted in parts | Section 376 (1) Punishment for Rape – Payment of compensation to the victim was dropped. Rest of the recommendation was accepted
Accepted | Section 370 A Employing a Trafficked Person – Punishment entirely accepted
Accepted in parts | Section 376 (2)
Aggravated Rape – Payment of compensation to the victim was dropped. Rest of the recommendations were accepted
Accepted | Section 376A
(re-numbered as 376B) Sexual intercourse by a Person in Authority – Accepted in full
Accepted in parts | Section 376 (3)
Punishment for causing death or a persistent vegetative state in the course of committing rape – Death penalty was preferred by MHA. Rest of the recommendations were accepted
Accepted | Section 376C Gangrape – Accepted entirely
Accepted in parts | Section 376D
Gang rape causing death or a persistent vegetative state shall be added: Death penalty was preferred by MHA. Rest of the recommendations were accepted
Accepted | Section 376E
Punishment for Repeat Offenders – Accepted entirely
Accepted | Section 509: Repeal accepted as offences covered elsewhere
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE 1973
Accepted | Section 54A: Proviso to Section 54A regarding identification of arrestee by a disabled person – Accepted entirely
Accepted in parts | Proviso to Section 154 Registration of an Offence – Provision to record evidence by police officer at the residence of the person reporting the offence. Mandatory videographing was not agreed to and converted to optional
Not Accepted | Section 39(1) Clause (vb) – Compel communication of information of offence relating to crimes against women to the nearest Magistrate – Not accepted as it is liable to be misused
Accepted | Section 160: No male below 18 and above 65 years and woman or physically disabled shall be required to attend a police station
Accepted in parts | Section 164 (5) (a) and (6)(b) Recording statement by a magistrate – Special assistance for mentally or physically disabled persons to be given by magistrate. Statement of mentally or physically disabled person to be considered sufficient for examination-in-chief and cross examination. However, mandatory videography not agreed to and changed to optional
Not Accepted | Section 40A: 
Intimation by the panchayat member the communication of information of offence relating to crimes against women to the nearest magistrate—Not accepted as it is liable to be misused
Accepted | Section 198B:
Cognizance of an offence u/s 376(1) when persons are in marital relationship
Not Accepted | Section 197(1)
Sanction for prosecution – No
sanction would be required for prosecution of judge or magistrate or public servant if accused of crimes against women. Not agreed to avoid false complaints
Accepted | Proviso to Section 273:
Recording of evidence of a victim below 18 years – Victim will not be confronted by the accused. Accepted in full
Not Accepted | Section 357(4) 
Compensation to victim – Payment of compensation of an amount adequate to meet atleast the medical expenses incurred by the victim. This is not acceptable as the compensation would be very low. The Bill has a better provision
Accepted | Section 327:
Substitution of new offences defined for rape (376A, 376B, 376C, 376D) – Technical formality
THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, 1872
Accepted | Section 53A: Evidence of character of previous sexual experience not relevant in certain cases – Fully accepted
Accepted | Section 114A:
Presumption as to the absence of consent in certain prosecution for sexual assault – Fully accepted
Accepted | Section 119: Dumb witness substituted by ‘persons who are unable to communicate verbally – Fully accepted
Accepted | Proviso in Section 146:
Question regarding the moral character will not be put to the victim during cross examination – Fully accepted
ARMED FORCES (SPECIAL POWERS) ACT, 1958
Not AcceptedProviso to Section 6: No sanction would be required if the armed force personnel is accused of a crime against woman

 

 

Mangalore vigilantes at it again, #Bajrang Dal #durga vahini #moralpolicing


Mangalore Bureau, The Hindu

ONE MORE INCIDENT: The open terrace at Roxx from where the seven-member group was bundled off to the police station. Photo: R.Eswarraj
ONE MORE INCIDENT: The open terrace at Roxx from where the seven-member group was bundled off to the police station. Photo: R.Eswarraj

Students at lounge harassed by Bajrang Dal activists

Vigilantism raised its ugly head again in Mangalore when members of the Bajrang Dal and its women’s wing, Durga Vahini — accompanied by the police — traumatised a group of seven young people meeting at an ice-cream lounge here Wednesday evening.

The group, all undergraduate students, were hauled off to the Pandeshwar police station after the vigilantes accused them of ‘immoral’ activities. At the station, they were made to wait for 45 minutes before being sent away without being charged.

Open terrace

According to the manager of Roxx, on Attavar Main Road, some 10 Bajrang Dal activists, with two policemen in tow, marched up to the smoking area on the open terrace leading from second floor where the four girls and three boys were, around 5.30 p.m., and asked them to come to the police station for their “immoral” and “uncultured” behaviour. When the young group protested, one of the intruders used foul language against a girl, the manager said, adding that the group were regulars there.

At the police station, the vigilantes, who said they were from the Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini, told reporters there were complaints from neighbours that young people smoked cannabis at the lounge.

No case booked

Commissioner of Police Manish Karbikar said the police went to the spot to defuse the situation. “As smoking on the terrace was not an offence, the police have not booked any case,” he said

To this, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee secretary Ivan D’Souza, who visited the police station, countered: “If no case was booked, why bring the students to the police station?”

A constable who accompanied the vigilantes said a Bajrang Dal activist had called the police station about “immoral activities on the terrace”. He said that of the seven young people, three were found smoking while the rest were having soft drinks.

‘A family joint’

B.M. Ashraf, managing director of Roxx, who spoke to the The Hindu on the phone from New Delhi, described the lounge as “an ice-cream parlour, a family joint, a clean place… there is no liquor, nothing of that sort.” He said he was surprised and saddened by the incident. “We don’t know why they had to do that.”

He said he would not take any action or follow up with the police and he didn’t “want to make it an issue”.

 

#India – 1 minor is raped every 3 days in #Gujarat #Vaw #WTFnews #Narendramodi


CHILDRAPE

ONE RAPE EVERY 3 DAYS!

Twelve Minor Girls Have Been Raped In The State In The Last 27 Days

TIMES NEWS NETWORK, 25 th Jan 2013 
A minor is rapedin Gujarat every three days. A total of 12 cases of minors being rapedin thestatehave been reported in the last 27 days. In a majority of these cases, the victims were threatened of dire consequences and in some cases the victims did not realize that they were being exploited.
On National Girl Child Day on Thursday, Gujarat — a state which takes pride in safety of its daughters —witnessed minors becoming victims of perverts who even went to the extent of killing them mercilessly.
The Nationa l C r i m e Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics of 2011, which arethelatestfiguresin crime statistics, revealed that three of every 10 rape victims in Gujarat were in the age group of five to 17 years. Of the 130 minors who were raped in 2011, 16 were from the age group of 0to10 years.In mostof the cases,theculpritswere neighbours, relatives,cousins andin somecases even fathers.A glance atthesecases would revealthatthe reasonsof the crime was bottled up aggression of the culprit, taking revenge to even perversion.
A senior police official who has been investigating such cases told TOI about some general provocationsthat may trigger suchcriminal behaviours. “It could be just out of curiosity or peer pressure, in some caseswefoundthatchildsex offenders commit crime because they feel that children are going to judge them like adultsdo. Someoffenders will have sex with anything and children are just one of them.”
The official said that another category of offenders find themselves in a revenge-type situation, where he is in a relationship with somebody but feels that he doesn’t have any power or control over his mate.In thiscasetoo,thecriminal may indulge in such heinous act
and turn violent
with the victim.
Founder
of Ahmedabad Women’s
Action Group
(AWAG) Ila Pathak had requested the state government to initiate a programme among rural women to make them awareof thedifferenttypesof child sexual abuses. “TheNCRBdata has shown that in 80 per cent of cases, the child sex offenders are close relatives and neighbours. In rural areas, we have found that there is belief thathaving sex withchildren would give sexual prowess to individuals. In such a situation, it is important that there is awareness in families and also that mothers shouldtalkwiththeir daughterson these issues.”
IS GUJARAT SAFE FOR GIRLS? 
December 20 | A 13-year-old girl in Ismailpur was raped by a 25-year-old man in Anand town when her family members were not at home
December 21 | A four-year-old daughter of an employee of a textile factory was raped by a close friend of her father in Udhna area of Surat
December 21 | A 16-year-old girl raped in Asundarali village in Muli taluka of Surendranagar district
December 26 | A 13-year-old girl was raped in Jambal village in Amreli. The victim was allegedly abducted and raped by Sadul Charola, a resident of Jira village. The accused even tried to burn her to destroy evidence
December 28 | A 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by 29-year-old man Ramesh alias Munno Koli who had hired her as farm labour
December 28 | A 14-year-old girl from Kadana taluka in Panchmahal was forcibly whisked away and raped in Santrampur
December 28 | Another 14-yearold girl was raped in the temple town of Ambaji at the GMDC grounds January 1 | A 13-year-old girl was allegedly abducted and raped by a youth in Jambal village of Savarkundla taluka in Amreli district
January 14 | An 11-year-old girl of Mahitadi village in Kheda was raped and cut into pieces to destroy evidence
January 15 | A seven-year-old girl, a class II student from Narsing village was raped on Uttarayan and murdered by an unidentified person in Santrampur taluka of Panchmahal district
January 15 | A 16-year-old girl from Patan was raped by an unidentified autorickshaw driver

 

#delhigangrape Repeated- After Nirbhaya, this time it is Roshni. Reporting from Ground Zero #Vaw #WTFNEWS


Press Release

Exactly a month after the Nirbhaya rape case, another rape has taken
place, that too in broad day-light, barely a few kilometres from where
Nirbhaya was found in a seriously injured condition. Clearly, Nirbhaya
has been forgotten and it is business as usual, at least as far as the
Delhi Police is concerned, probably as this case is not being
considered to be ‘high-profile’ enough for them to take proper action.

This time it is Roshni (name changed), an 8 year old daughter of
migrant industrial workers who were raped by a yet to be identified
person on the afternoon of the 17th January 2013 at her residence in
Kapashera, South West Delhi. She was taken to the Safdarjung Hospital
by her parents during the evening on the same day.

Even after a week of the crime, the police appear to be doing a
whitewash of the crime at best, as no results of their ‘efforts’ are
evident. There was an attempt to change the nature of the crime in the
FIR that was lodged, which was foiled by a well-wisher of the girl’s
family, who pressurised the Police to note the actual crime in the
FIR.

However, the Police have not been doing the investigations in a
professional manner. According to a media report, the police have said
that the girl was unable to describe the rapists. This is not true.
Though the girl was injured, she has been able to describe the rapist.
While many innocent workers and others from the community are being
rounded up and being subjected to questioning, a simple task like
creating a sketch of the rapist, based on the description provided by
the girl has not been done. The police have been harassing innocent
people in the name of investigations, as is the norm in such cases.

The victim’s family is being pressurized by their landlord to leave
the place, leading to evident doubts, about his complicity in the
crime. However, this fact has also been ignored by the investigators.

The rape has happened in the same area as Nirbhaya. Even the hospital
where the victim has been admitted is the same. So even at ground
zero, nothing is different at all. The various ‘machineries’
supposedly created as a result of the national and international
pressure of the Nirbhaya case have already failed their test, within a
few days after creation. We would like to let you know that it is
business as usual, and girls and women are as unsafe like ever before
in Delhi.

About us:- Nari Shakti Manch is a women’s organization working for the
rights of migrant women and children in Kapashera and Gurgaon. We run
a learning centre for the children in the area, besides empowerment
groups for women. This case was brought to our notice by one of the
participants in our programme, as it happened in the area where we
work. We have been in touch with the family of the victim and are
providing them with necessary support in this time of crisis.

In case you need any further details, you may contact us as per
details given below:-

Retu Singh : +919716187771

Twinkle Dahiya : +919818130721

 

#India- Download Full Justice Verma Report #delhigangrape #Vaw #AFSPA


Download  here JS Verma Report on Gender Violence

Justice Verma Committee Report on Gender Violence AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL LAW

Appointed by Prime Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 23, 2012

Released  on January 23, 2013

Justice JS VERMA Justice

LEILA SETH

Gopal Subramniam

Over 80,000 suggestions were received by the Committee. Among these were those made by  Women against State Repression and Sexual Violence, Women with disabilities, human rights groups and many others 

The committee has suggested a range of reforms dealing with all kinds of sexual crimes against women. It is not that the report is immediately going to alter the effectiveness of policing, crime investigation or court trials in India. However, what is particularly heartening is that the committee has not looked at crime against women purely through a lens of ‘protection’ of women. That lens looks at public spaces as a male prerogative, and woman as a fragile creature that needs to be kept away for her own benefit.

Instead, the committee has looked at crime against women through a lens of autonomy, which says that all women have a right to bodily integrity, in all spaces, and all circumstances. That itself is a good start for a country like ours, where women’s ‘character’, clothing and ‘background’ are the first things to be examined in the event of a crime.

1. When a woman is raped, it does not mean that she has been shamed or ‘dishonoured.’ Nor is it a crime against her community’s ‘honour’. 

“We believe that there is no danger and no shame or loss of honour in a victim seeking redressal by filing complaints and must in fact exercise,  consistent with fundamental rights of women, the right to file complaints and bring offenders to book. We also think that it is the duty of the State to encourage such a climate and also to make  available such resources that enable them to file such complaints.”

“We think that it is necessary for the police officers to be completely sensitised against the honour-shame theory, and to treat every woman  complainant as an individual in her own right capable of asserting her grievance…We think that there has been a completely erroneous connection which is being made between a woman and a community. In other words, we feel very strongly  that an assault on a woman is an assault on the person of the woman.”

2. The absence of violence does not mean the presence of consent.

“Consent must be real… Thus, if the consent is obtained after giving the woman a threat of spreading false and scandalous rumours about her character or destruction of her property or injury to her children or parents or by holding out other threats of injury to her person, reputation or property, that consent will also not be consent under the third clause as recommended to be amended…The 84th Law Commission Report correctly said that violence was not mandatory.”

3. There must be consequences, if police fail to register FIRs.

“What is most surprising is that Parliament has ignored the recommendation of the 84th (Law Commission) Report, which calls for the punishment of a station-incharge who fails to register information of a cognisable offence given to him.”

4. The definition of sexual assault, while including rape should also include any other forms of assault that challenge women’s bodily integrity.

“We are of the considered opinion that in the Indian context it is important to keep a separate offence of ‘rape’. This is a widely understood term which also expresses society’s strong moral condemnation. In the current context, there is a risk that a move to a generic crime of ‘sexual assault’ might signal a dilution of the political and social commitment to respecting, protecting and promoting women’s right to integrity, agency and autonomy. However, there should also be a criminal prohibition of other, non-penetrative forms of sexual assault, which currently is not found in the IPC, aside from the inappropriate references to ‘outraging the modesty’ of women in Sections 354 and 509. We recommended the enactment of Section 354 in another form while we have recommended the repeal of Section 509.”

5. Marriage is not a license to rape.

“We, therefore, recommend that: i. The exception for marital rape be removed. ii. The law ought to specify that: a. A marital or other relationship between the perpetrator or victim is not a valid defence against the crimes of rape or sexual violation; b. The relationship between the accused and the complainant is not relevant to the inquiry into whether the complainant consented to the sexual activity; c. The fact that the accused and victim are married or in another intimate relationship may not be regarded as a mitigating factor justifying lower sentences for rape.”

6. Acid attacks need greater focus – in law, and in terms of practical support for victims.

“The gender specificity and discriminatory nature of this offence does not allow us to ignore this offence as yet another crime against women. We recommend that acid attacks be specifically defined as an offence in the IPC, and that the victim be compensated by the accused. However in relation to crimes against women, the Central and State governments must contribute substantial corpus to frame a compensation fund. We note that the existing Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012, does include a definition of acid attack.”

7. The presence of AFSPA should not give armed forces personnel impunity for sexual violence in conflict zones.

“At the outset, we notice that impunity for systematic or isolated sexual violence in the process of Internal Security duties is being legitimized by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which is in force in large parts of our country… Sexual violence against women by members of the armed forces or uniformed personnel must be brought under the purview of ordinary criminal law.”

8. Rape is not about “lust” or “loss of control.”

“Thus, rape and other forms of sexual assault have been found to be consistently deployed as an expression of power and must not necessarily be seen as ‘crime of passion’ only. Sexual assaults on women and children has been found to be have been used consistently by State and private persons in conflict areas including in communal violence; where by raping women, men attempt to establish their superiority over the other. The Committee is of the view that such forms of sexual assault deserve to be treated as aggravated sexual offence in law.”

9. Imprisonment terms in sexual assault cases can be strengthened. Capital punishment is not necessarily a deterrent, while it can be applied in the rarest of rare cases (as provided for in Indian law), 

“As far as term sentences are concerned, section 376 of the Indian Penal Code currently provides for punishment of either description for a term which shall not be less than 7 years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to 10 years. We however recommend that in the proposed Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2012, the minimum sentence should be enhanced to 10 years with a maximum punishment being life imprisonment…We therefore recommend a legislative clarification that life imprisonment must always mean imprisonment for ‘the entire natural life of the convict’”

10. Drop the two-finger test.

“It is crucial to underscore that the size of the vaginal introitus has no bearing on a case of sexual assault, and therefore a test to ascertain the laxity of the vaginal muscles which is commonly referred to as the two-finger test must not be conducted. On the basis of this test observations/ conclusions such as ‘habituated to sexual intercourse’ should not be made and this is forbidden by law.”

 

 

Sex on false promise of marriage is rape- Delhi HC #goodnews #womenrights #justice #mustshare


If a man has consensual sex with a woman after promising to marry her but later retracts, it amounts to rape, the Delhi High Court has said.

Dismissing the anticipatory bail application of one Firoz Ahmed, who had sexual relations with a widow, Justice Kailash Gambhir held that retracting from a promise of marriage after consensual sex would tantamount to rape. Ahmed was booked under IPC sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) following a complaint lodged by the woman.

The judge agreed with the view of the trial judge, who had dismissed Ahmed’s bail application, saying that the woman’s consent was obtained under the pretext of marriage and that the intention of the accused from the beginning was not to marry her.

Justice Gambhir upheld prosecution’s argument that Ahmed did not deserve bail as the offence fell under IPC section 375(4), which states that consent for sex obtained under a false pretext also amounts to rape.

 

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