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WOMEN SAFETY IN INDA AND THE CRIMINAL LAW (AMENDMENT) ACT 2013

What is woman? only one of Natures agreeable blunders ~ Hannah Cowley


The problem of violence against women is not new. Women in the Indian society have been
victims of humiliation, torture and exploitation. The issue has become even more serious and
crucial after the recent incidents in Delhi & Mumbai. These incidents are condemned nationwide
with huge protests.
The big question is why such crimes are committed frequently? Where do the seeds of violence
against women lie?
Violence against women may be categorized as
(i)

Criminal violence rape, abduction, murder

(ii)

Domestic violence dowry-deaths, wife battering, sexual abuse, maltreatment

(iii)

Social violence forcing wife/daughter-in-law to go for female feticide, eve-teasing

According to the latest figures released by the Government of India, a woman is now raped in
India every 20 minutes.
In order to protect women and check such offences our Lok Sabha passed The Criminal Law
(Amendment) Act, 2013 which was promulgated on 3rd February 2013.
The Amendment objects to:
(a) make specific provisions for punishment for the offences of causing grievous hurt by acid
attack and also for an attempt thereof;
(b) define and prescribe punishment for the offences of stalking, voyeurism and sexual
harassment;
(c) widen the definition of rape; and enhance the punishment thereof;
(d) punish the repeat offenders of rape with imprisonment for life or with death;
(e) enhance punishment under sections 354 and 509 of Indian Penal Code;
(f) provide that all hospitals shall immediately provide first aid and/or medical treatment,
free of cost, to the victims of acid attack or rape; and provide for punishment for
contravention thereof.

In short, this Act objects to provide for stringent punishment for crimes against women, as also to
provide for more victim friendly punishment in the trials of such cases. Following is the table of
amended sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860:
Amended
Section of IPC

Offence

Punishment

166-B

Non-treatment of victim by hospital

Imprisonment for 1 year


or fine or both.

326-A

Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid, Imprisonment not less


etc.
than 10 years or even
life with fine.

326-B

Voluntarily throwing or attempting to throw acid.

354-A

Sexual Harassment of the nature of unwelcome Imprisonment


which
physical contact and advances or a demand or may extend to 3 years or
request for sexual favors, showing pornography.
with fine or both.

354-B

Assault or use of criminal force to woman with Imprisonment for 3 to 7


intent to disrobe.
years with fine.

354-C

Voyeurism (any man who watches or captures the Imprisonment for 1 to 3


image of woman engaging in a private act).
years with fine.

354-D

Stalking (any man who follows a woman and Imprisonment for up to 3


contacts or attempts to contact to foster personal years with fine (for first
interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of conviction).
disinterest by such woman)

370-A

Exploitation of a trafficked child or trafficked Imprisonment for 5 to 7


person.
or 3 to 5years with fine.

376-A

Person committing an offence of rape and Rigorous imprisonment


inflicting injury which causes death or causes the of not less than 20 years
woman to be in a persistent vegetative state.
that may extend to life or
with death.

376-D

Gang rape

376-E

Repeat offenders

Imprisonment for 5 to 7
years with fine.

-doImprisonment for life


which shall mean the
remainder
of
that

persons natural life or


with death.
Measures that could be adopted to contain womens harassment:
Support womens organizations as well as government and private/public institutions to
meet the needs of protection and advice the victims.
Government to provide adequate fund to accommodate and ensure safety for such victims
and assistance in finding employment and child-care facilities and immediate financial
support is also the need of the suffering women.
Establishment of cheaper and less formal courts could also be a measure to help women
who are victims of exploitation.
Strengthening and increasing voluntary organizations which could take up individual
womens problems.
Publicity has to be given to those organizations which provide free legal aid to women so
that the needy women could approach them and seek their help.
A change in parents attitude is also necessary in womens cases. When parents come to
know of their daughters harassment, why should they not permit their daughters to live
with them for a short time till they are able to fend for themselves? Why should they
remain so concerned about the social stigma and sacrifice their daughters for the sake of
their family?
To conclude,
Women have to learn to be assertive and accept new roles for themselves. They have to develop
an optimistic and hopeful approach to life. It is easier to live through someone else than to
become complete yourself
References:
1. Justice M.R. Mallicks CRIMINAL MANUAL
2. Social Problems in India by Ram Ahuja

Name

ABINAYA SAKTHIVEL