Posted on: June 23, 2020 Posted by: KUSHAGRA PANDYA Comments: 0

Authors : Aastha Srivastava, B.A.LLB(H), ILL Indore and Raj Singh, B.A.LLB(H), Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha university 

“WOMEN, I TOLD, IS THE PERSONIFICATION OF SELF SACRIFICE, BUT UNFORTUNATELY TODAY SHE DOES NOT REALISE WHAT TREMENDOUS ADVANTAGE SHE HAS OVER MAN.”[1]

 –MAHATMA GANDHI

It’s not just statement but a precursory outlook of that great man who had a future vision. Even if we disregard we still have to admit, that the outlook of women in today’s standard is never the less too atomic, in regard to the respect paid towards, Goddess Lakshmi or Durga[2]. This remark may sound a bit harsh but it’s exactly as it appears to be[3]. Bringing up another harsh reality of the societal scenario, is the increase in the number of violence against women. Globalization and genuine feminism had outshone the women of the chances and opportunities to stand equally, who previously were restricted to the four walls. Apart from this, it should rather be called nothing less but the diplomatic behaviour of the society which on one hand, talks about the change in the thinking of patriarchal society and on the other witnesses, such as rampant growth in the violence against women. Every other day we find a debate on national television over women empowerment, promoting them for literacy, convincing them to come down in politics to show their nimble qualities to run a government.Simultaneously, it does not matter, how orthodox we are but the moment we hear of gender-discrimination, we are ready to debate over it. It does not even matter how nefarious, we are  but hearing of rape case, taking candles in our hands our legs are always ready for a march. These are just a few, there is a long list of examples which prove that this inhuman senseless society is ready only to talk over women safety but is not on the path of enactment.

THE QUESTIONS

A number of lawshave been made for the safety of women but the question arises, are they commensurate enough to make the women feel safe?

Did the laws on any circumstances dwindle the rate of crimes committed?

Are the laws remodeled with the newfangled crimes?

I wished it had a positive answer but unfortunately, taking the current scenario into consideration, the only answer left is no. The thoughts presented, can be negated, but everything said or stated have been remarked taking the stats and the current scenario into consideration.

THE LAWS WITH THE FLAWS

There has been a constant support to the statement that there have been many laws made for the protection and safety of women in India. The problems with these laws are, either they have been outdated, inaccessible to the mainstream or have not been made according to the thought process are the criminals. This statement is made not on the verge of any hatred or anger against the legislation of a country but because of its helplessness before the crimes being committed. When it comes to rape, domestic violence, dowry death we certainly have laws which more or less work accordingly. But to some of the crimes, no effective law has been constituted to deal with them. Some of the laws dealing with the protection of women are:-

 

IMMORAL TRAFFIC PREVENTION ACT, 1956[4]

This Act[5] stands the oldest act made for the safety of women. The law constituted as SUPPRESSION OF IMMORAL TRAFFIC IN WOMEN AND GIRLS ACT, 1956[6] was also called SITA.

Now basically this act [7]was framed and constituted for the safety of women from being dragged into the immoral profession of prostitution and trafficking.This law made the trafficking and sexual exploitation of person a punishable offence.However this law became so outdated that unfortunately India has the biggest Red-Lightareasin the whole of Asia.

Constituting a law for immoral trafficking and prostitution was a very necessary step taken by the legislation, but the outdating of the law can be just imagined from the survey of the government in 2015 that said around 76% of all the people that were include in human trafficking in India women and girls. It is estimated that more than 20 lakhs women and children are trafficked for sex into red light district in India, in the year 2018-19[8].It is very sad to find that the country which has the oldest law to prevent prostitution and trafficking has the biggest area of sex workers in the whole of the continent.

 

DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961[9]

Again a law that was made for the daughters of a country who were being exploited for dowry by their in-laws.This Act intended to prevent the giving or receiving of a dowry. Under this Act[10], dowry includes property, goods, or money given by either party to the marriage, by the parents of either party.This Act applies to persons of all religions in India. This was again thought of a brilliant Idea by the legislation to prevent the giving and intake of the dowry that had been ritual from ages.

Unfortunately, this law again failed when the stats came around. It was found that that the cases reported from the year 2005 to 2016 was reportedly increasing in the case of dowry intake and the women who lost their lives were around the count of 7600. [11]

PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005 [12]

This act[13] was so well constituted that it was thought to be a ray of light over darkness of the violence that was faced by the women from ages. But the increase in the cases are really unbelievable. According to the stats between 2005- 2016 there was around, 88,467 casualties due to domestic violence that caused around 22 deaths/ day[14] that’s really heartbreaking in a country like India where women are preached like Goddesses.

SEXUALHARASSMENT OF WOMEN AT WORKPLACE ACT, 2013[15]

Also came to be known as the VISHAKA GUIDELINES[16], this act was mainly constituted to protect women from the harassment at workplace. This act was framed for the security of women  and was best law to increase the participation of the female gender in every stream without any hesitation or fear. But was again let down due to the repeated cases of the casting couches in various industries, the Bollywood industry being the one of it.According to the stats it was found that there was a continuous increase in the filing of cases of the harassment at workplace which included an enormous increase of 14% in the 2019 taking the count to 823 from the previous year that was 722.[17]

THE CRIMES UNANSWERED

The title may sound a bit weird but there are few crimes with no particular laws and are still being dealt under the old laws, REVENGE PORN being one of them.

“The revealing of sexually explicit images or videos of person posted on internet, typically by the former sex partner without the consent of the subject in order to causethem distress and embarrassment”, is termed as REVENGE PORN.

This became a hot potato because according to an article, India records rising trend of REVENGE PORN.[18] This is not a case where things can be let to go lightly. There has been an enormous increase of 28% of the cases of revenge porn as compared to the last decade. The motive behind the perpetrators of the revenge porn is not only money or attention but also enjoying a powerful position over someone who is helpless or unable to stop them. Calling this crime just against the female gender would be a stereotype but of all the cases filed around 85% of the cases are against women or girls from the age of 18 to 28. [19]

Now, when it is said that this crime is unanswered it’s because India does not have any laws explicitly dealing to REVENGE PORN. It is either dealt under the IPC or the IT Act which is certainly not sufficient to deal with such  ferocious crime.

 

 LOCKDOWN’s SCENARIO

In this hard-dwelling time, of the lockdown where life expectancyhas fallen so short,  every person specially, the middle class is left financially and mentally unstable that has led to an enormous increase in the stats of violence committed against women. According to an article of THE HINDU, it was found nearly 2,500 women in the Capital called emergency helpline numbers which triggers the Emergency Response Support System of the state police. Of these calls over 600 were classified as “women abuse”,[20] 23 calls reported rape, while a majority  1612  pertained to cases of domestic violence.Counts just in the capital were sohuge, that the situation in the country is still unimaginable.

 

CONCLUSION

In a nutshell, it would just not be correct to question the legality of the legislation but still, just  to bring it into the notice of the government that we certainly need  laws that are sufficient enough to deal with the newfangled crimes afterall we are on the verge of becoming superpower. Once these stats come down and we see positivity all around we can hold our head high and say that WOMENSAFETY IN OUR INDIA, IS NOT JUST TALKED BUT ALSO ENACTED.

[1] Je Varalakṣmi, Women, Key to Successful Democracy,40 (2009)

[2] Pooja Bedi, Respect the goddess within every woman (May 19,2020, 20:44) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

[3] id

[4] Immoral Traffic (Prevention), Act1956

[5] id

[6] Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act,. 1956.

[7] Immoral Traffic (Prevention), Act1956

[8] Ministry of Women and Child Development Government of India, 2019

[9] Dowry Prohibition Act1961

[10] id

[11] National Statistics Office,2016

[12] Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005

[13] id

[14] National Statistics Office,2016

[15] The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013

[16] Vishaka & Ors vs State Of Rajasthan & Ors on 13 August, 1997

[17] National Statistics Office,2019

[18] Hannah Price, Coronavirus: ‘Revenge porn’ surge hits helpline(May 19,2020, 20:49) https://www.bbc.com

[19] id

[20] Vivek Narayanan, When helpline staff in Tamil Nadu find themselves helpless, (May 19,2020, 20:56) https://www.thehindu.com

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