Search

Pandemic and the rising violence against women



This novel corona virus has turned people lives miserable. Being independent from 1947.We still live in a partiarchy society where most of the female are confined to four corners of the walls. Women’s are considered as Goddess. Behind every man’s success there is always a woman who supports them during their failure.Now-a-days we got to know violence against women are mushrooming. We can say it’s a great impact of pandemic which has torned many relationships, scattered many houses, Domestic violence are common in today’s scenario. Life of women are getting pathetic as they are the victims. Divorce rates are also rising. Over 32000 murders,19000 rapes,7500 dowry deaths and 36500 molestation cases are the violent crimes reported in India in 2006 against women.


Violence against women and girls is defined as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women and girls, including threats of such acts, coercion as defined in sec 15 of Indian contract Act 1872. or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. Violence against women and girls encompasses, but is not limited to, physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family or within the general community, and perpetrated or condoned by the State.


Different kinds of violence against women:


1.Female feticide:


Meaning:

Aborting a female fetus after Sex determination test. It is misused to find out sex of fetus and abort it if it is found to be a girl.These heinous killings of girl child are advocated mainly on two grounds. One of them is the preference culture.Male child are preferred because they are the bread owners of the family and succeed the family lineage.In a family, a son is always considered as “asset” and a daughter, a “liability”.


In the case of Voluntary Health Association of Punjab vs. Union Of India

Hon’ble Justice Dipak Misra observed:

All involved in female foeticide deliberately forget to realise that when the foetus of a girl child is destroyed, a woman of the future is crucified. To put it differently, the present generation invites the sufferings on its own and also sows the seeds of sufferings for the future generations, as in the ultimate eventuate, the sex ratio gets affected and leads to manifold social problems.

However soon, this practice was opposed by some activists, the Indian Government passed the preconception and prenatal Diagnostic Techniques(PCPNDT)Act,1994 making sex-selective abortion illegal.


Judicial pronouncement:

The Judiciary has played and continues to play a vital role in the prevention of atrocities against women, in general, and female foeticide, in particular.

Case laws:

Centre For Enquiry Into Health And Allied Themes (CEHAT) v. Union Of India & Others, petitioners concerned about the implementation of the Act, moved the Union of India to Court for effective implementation and execution of the provisions of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, which had failed at achieving its goals of preventing female feticide. The court warned the Centre, States and Union Territories to effectively comply with the mandates of the Act and also clarified to the appropriate authorities that it was empowered to take criminal action against violators. The Court directed for amendment of the Act in view of emerging technology and the Act was amended in 2003 to Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.The Court also directed the formation of the National Committee (National Monitoring and Implementation Committee— NMIC) to monitor the implementation of The Act.


2. Dowry death:

It’s a very disgraceful for the society where a woman dies for not being able to give dowry and also very shameful where dowry death is still seen in the society.Dowry death is defined in section 304B of IPC, 1860. And also in section 113B in Indian Evidence Act1872.

Case law:


State Of Himachal Pradesh vs Nikku Ram And Ors on 30 August 1995


Facts:

In this case, the couple was married and after 5-6 months of their marriage husband, sister-in-law and mother-in-law started taunting the wife of the husband for bringing less dowry. They started demanding several things from her which was not fulfilled by her. The prosecutor filed a case for torturing the deceased and subjected her to cruelty in order to make her bring more dowry.

Gradually the torture on her increased so much that the mother-in-law hit her with a sharp blade on her forehead causing a deep cut over there.

She was unable to tolerate the ill-treatment by her husband and by her in-laws on her, as a result, she committed suicide by consuming naphthalene balls and died.

During the investigation, the sharp-edged blade was recovered and after the completion of the investigation husband, sister-in-law and mother-in-law were charged under the Section of 304-B, 306 and 498-A of the Indian Penal Code. And the case against them was registered.

Held:

The Court after examining all the evidences, it was held that persons who are charged under Section 304-B, 306 and 498-A will be free from these criminal charges as the prosecution failed to produce the evidence against them and only mother-in-law will be held guilty under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code as voluntarily causing hurt to her daughter-in-law. And imposed a fine of Rs. 3,000, failing to pay the fine will attract simple imprisonment for 1 month.

3.Female Genital Mutilation:

Meaning:

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure performed on a woman or girl to alter or injure her genitalia for non-medical reasons. It most often involves the partial or total removal of her external genitalia. FGM is a violation of girls’ and women’s fundamental human rights.


Existing Provisions In The Criminal Law:


Though FGM is not banned in India under any specific legislation, certain general provisions present under the current criminal laws could protect the interest of women. Thus, Some of these are listed below and may be applicable in the case of this practice.

Varying degrees of Hurt and Grievous Hurt, under sections 319 to 326 of the IPC:

Sections 319 to 326 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) lay down the provisions for inflicting hurt and grievous hurt on an individual. ‘Hurt’ must constitute the elements of causing bodily pain, infirmity or disease to another person. [xvii] There are seven specific types of ‘grievous hurt’, including,

“Any hurt which risks life or which causes the victim to be during the time of twenty days in severe bodily pain, or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits.”

FGM may render the participant incapable of performing normal bodily activities like urinating and making sexual intercourse painful. Thus, FGM can be construed as a form of hurt or grievous hurt, thus, may amount up to seven years of imprisonment, with or without fine.

Section 4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences: Section 4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) 2012, criminalises the offence of penetrative sexual assault inflicted on children below the age of 18 years.

Penetration here may, according to Section 3, include insertion of any object into the vagina of the child, to any extent.Introduction of a sharp object in the external genitalia while performing FGM could therefore be construed as a form of penetrative sexual assault to children.


4.Non consensual sexting:

Now-a-days Non consensual sexting is common among youngsters. As we are seeing many dating apps are mushrooming.Through social media they harass many girls and women by sending illegal things, offensive pictures and force them to do such kind of stuffs which are against them.The Supreme Court will invalidate Texas’ new sexting law for violating the First Amendment. That may come to pass—but don’t count on a Supreme Court decision as to your line of defense. Cases may take years to reach the Supreme Court, and there is no guarantee the court will decide to take any specific case, much less pass the judgment you are hoping for. After all, Supreme Court opinions have not always favored obscene content. We advise you to work with a lawyer to construct a strong, multi-pronged defense so you have the best chance of prevailing in court.


Another new law“Indecent Assault”:

Along with codifying rules for electronic communications, the Texas legislature passed SB 194 to define indecent assault, a category of behaviors that do not meet the standard for sexual assault but may be unwelcome. SB 194 addresses sexual contact or non-consensual exposure to another’s intimate parts.


Before SB 194 was signed into law, there was no legal grey area around what was considered sexual assault. As long as no intercourse occurred, you could not be accused of a crime. With the arrival of SB 149, the law has opened new avenues for accusations. It is interesting to note that the definition of “indecent assault” takes one’s intentions into account, which may help protect you from unfounded accusations.

Criminal convictions can change your life—especially when you’re being tried for sex crimes. As Texas law continues to change, make sure you know how to defend yourself should you end up in this unfortunate position. Our team at the LaHood Norton Law Group provides a tireless defense to help counteract the stigma that comes with sex crime accusations. You are constitutionally guaranteed a defense when you have been accused of a crime. Make sure you work with a lawyer who can protect your rights and fight for your best interests.


5. Honor killng:

‘Honor crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family.


Judgments regarding the issue:


The discussion on the issue of same gotra marriages was laid to rest sixty five years ago with the landmark judgment by the Bombay High Court where it declared that same gotra marriages were legal. The case of ‘Madhavrao v. Raghavendrarao’[7] it was held that the marriage in question between a husband and wife belonging to the same gotra was valid. The court also referred to the eminent author PV Kane, author of ‘The History of Dharmashatra’ who had said:

“The mass of material on 'gotra' and 'pravara' in the sutras, the puranas and digests is so vast and full of contradictions that it is almost an impossible task to reduce it to order and coherence."

In addition to this the court also consulted the text of Manu and Yajnavalkya and observed that the requirements on gotra were recommendatory not mandatory. On the following grounds the court held that:

‘it was impossible to accept the suggestion that in reference to the Brahmin families of today, their gotras and pravaras represent anything like an unbroken line of descent from the common ancestors indicated by the names of their respective gotras and pravaras.’

The most recent case that can be considered with respect to the issue of honor killing can be the Kaithal Murder Case[8] of Manoj and Babli the decision of which was declared on March 29th 2010. The landmark verdict was given by the Additional district and sessions judge Vani Gopal Sharma. Five of Babli's family members -- her brother Suresh, uncles Rajender and Baru Ram and cousins Satish and Gurdev -- were ordered to hang until death for killing the couple on June 15, 2007. The judge sentenced the seventh accused, Mandeep Singh, driver of the Scorpio used in the crime, to seven years' jail for kidnapping and conspiracy.

In addition, the leader of Banawala khap, Ganga Raj, was awarded life sentence for hatching a conspiracy to kill a couple just because they had married against the wishes of elders who had termed them "brother and sister."


6. Sexual harassment of women in work place:

It is defined as an unwelcome behavior of sexual nature. Sexual harassment at workplace is a widespread problem in the world whether it be a developed nation or a developing nation or an underdeveloped nation, atrocities against women is common everywhere. It is a universal problem giving negative impact on both men and women. It is happening more with women gender in particular. The international instruments defines Sexual Harassment as “violence against women and discriminatory treatment which is a broad definition compared to the national laws. National laws focus on the illegal conduct more.


In general sense it is known as “unwelcome sexual favor and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment”


For the first time in the history of the Indian Courts in 1997 the Supreme Court of India recognized sexual harassment at workplace as a violation of human rights but also as a personal injury to the affected woman.


The landmark case of Vishaka and others Vs. State of Rajasthan laid down guidelines for the preventing and redressel of the complaints by women who were sexually harassed at workplace. The Guidelines entrusted the Employer with the obligation to provide a safe and woman friendly environment.


Another case the Complaint was working in a Hyderabad based company and she was sexually harassed by her Supervisor. The case was investigated by a woman who was working in the head office of the Company. The charges were proved and the inquiry report was also submitted but what happened later was the Complainant was asked to resign from her job as she was identified as a trouble maker and the accused was allowed to continue with his job. No compensation was given to the Complainant.


From all these instances what we can infer is that the women often report the cases and the result was no action was taken, committee not constituted properly, judgments made in favor of the complainant but no strict action was taken against the perpetrator. In short what we understand is the guidelines redressel was not partial but the way it functioned was not impartial and very few women could effectively implement the guidelines to make the workplace gender equitable and safer.


Constitutional Remedies:

Article 14 of Indian constitution says that the government shall not deny to any person equality before law or the equal protection of the laws.

Article 15 declares that government shall not discriminate against any citizen on the ground of sex.

Article 15(3) makes a special provision enabling the State to make affirmative discriminations in favour of women. Moreover, the government can pass special laws in favour of women.

Article 16 guarantees that no citizen shall be discriminated against in matters of public employment on the grounds of sex.

Article 42 directs the State to make provision for ensuring just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.

Above all, the Constitution imposes a fundamental duty on every citizen through Articles 15(A) (e) to renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women. By this laws women can move to court if any of their rights gets violated.


Conclusion:

Violence against women is one of the most important hurdles to women’s enjoyment of human rights, specifically the right to be treated in equality and with dignity. Former Secretary General of the UN declared during the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, “The movement for gender equality the world over has been one of the defining developments of our time‘. He further elaborated that despite a lot of progress being made; there is a great deal of work left to be done.More reforms are needed to curb violence against woman. Role of mass and media is highly appreciated to support the victims so that many can aware. Awareness programs should be conducted to help women to know their rights. The punishment should be strict so that the rate of crime will decimate.

Submitted by-

Rani Rout

1st semester,

Capital Law College,Bhubaneswar












71 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

DOCTRINE OF LIS PENDENS

Introduction The Transfer of Property Act came into existence on 1st July, 1882. Section 52 of the act mentions about the doctrine of Lis Pendens which is titled as “Transfer of Property pending suit

LOK ADALATS UNDER LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY ACT

Legal Aid Scheme was first introduced by Justice P. N. Bhagwati under Legal Aid Committee formed in 1971. The Legal Services Authorities Act was enacted to constitute legal services authorities for pr

Intellectual Property Rights in India

Introduction Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognised, and the corresponding fields of law. I