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Crimes Against Women

Abstract
An attempt has been made to debate the crimes against women in contemporary modern times. The most focus of the paper is to throw light on the crimes against women in India. In India, women are trapped in such a lot of ways. Crimes aren't confined to a selected group, class, culture or country. Not only in modern period, women are suffering from long period in India. Even after the several legislatives, and other measures by the govt. the speed of crime against women isn't declining.

Crimes like rape, dowry death, domestic violence, kidnapping, molestation, torture, sexual harassment are experienced by women in India. Crimes have physical and psychological impact on women which preventing the ladies from leading a standard life. Male dominated Indian society is one in all the most causes of crimes against women. Crimes against women harm families and communities across generations and reinforce other evils prevalent in society.

Introduction
Over the last few decades, India has witnessed phenomenal growth. In spite of all development and growth, women are still victims of horrendous crimes. According to a report of the UN published in 1980- ‘Women constitute half of the world's population, perform nearly two-thirds of work hours, receive one tenth of world's income and fewer than one hundred percent of world's property.' The status of girls in India, both historically and socially has been one of the respect and reverence.

Constitution of India, 1950 played the important role in reducing the discrimination. There are so many provisions in constitution of India which are against the discrimination between genders and so many DPSPs are also present which help in women empowerment. Preamble on constitution doesn't discriminate men and women but treats them alike.

Crimes against women are of various types as crimes involving sex for economic gains including prostitution, wrongful confinement, trafficking, dowry extortion, rape, assault, harassment at work place, gang-rape, acid-attack, kidnapping, and other immoral acts are injurious to the society.

In some villages of India, women are still treated as prisoners. Poverty and illiteracy are the important factors causing crimes against women. Violence against women is perhaps as old as mankind. In India, not only in rural areas but also in urban areas, women are facing lot of problems. Crimes against women are happening because of inefficient legal justice system, weak rules of law and weak political structure.

Problem of crimes against women in India

Under the IPC (INDIAN PENAL CODE) crimes against women include rape, kidnapping and abduction, homicide for dowry, torture, molestation, harassment, and also the importation of girls.

Rape:

Although the proper definition of ‘rape' is itself a matter of some dispute. Section 375 of INDIAN PENAL CODE relates to the offence of rape. A man is alleged to commit rape when he penetrates his penis to any extent into the vagina of a woman. How far it's gone inside vagina is immaterial. Even slightest penetration of penis by a person into the vagina of a women amounts to rape. This is often so because clause (a) of section 375 says that penetration by a person of his penis into the vagina, mouth, urethra, or anus of a woman is rape.[1]

To constitute the offence sexual intercourse by a man with a woman is necessary. A boy above 12 years of age is capable of committing rape under this section, whereas boy below 12 but above 7 years of age enjoys a qualified immunity. To constitute the offence, there should be penetration against her will. If a girl does not resist intercourse in consequence of misapprehension, this does not amount to a consent on her part. If a consent is obtained by putting a women in fear of death or hurt, that consent would be illegal. Sexual intercourse with a woman with or without her consent when she is under 18 years amount to rape.

Exception: Sexual intercourse by a man with his wife under 15 years of age is rape whether; it has been done with or without her consent. Such a check was necessary to restrain men from taking advantage of heir martial rights prematurely. No man can be guilty of rape on his own wife when she is over 15 years on account of the matrimonial consent she has given.[2]

According to a report, more than 32,500 rape cases were registered with the police in 2017. Around 50% of the victims were of aged between 18-30 years and 30% of victims were children. Indian courts disposed of only about 18,300 cases related to rape that year, and 127,800 cases were still pending at the end of 2017. In 2017, conviction rate were only 26%.[3]

Important case that shook India:

In November 2019, a doctor was gang raped near Hyderabad. Her body was found the day after her murder. The victim parked her scooter near the toll plaza, and took the taxi to her office. After she returned back to her scooter, tyres of her scooter were punctured. Two lorry drivers & their companion saw her. They pretend to help her and push her in the bushes where they raped her. They took her body in the lorry and dropped it on the roadside, 27 km from location where they burnt her body under the bridge. Protests were started all over the country demanding death punishments for accused. People were demanding amendments in the punishments of rape.

Chief Minister ordered to try the case in fast track court. Police gathered the evidence from CCTV cameras and mobile phones and arrested 4 men. Confessions were recorded and they were taken into judicial custody for 14 days. The accused were taken to the location of crime for the reconstruction of the crime scene. According to the Hyderabad police, two of them tried to snatch the guns from policemen, they were asked to surrender but they didn't listen and in retaliation, accused were killed. This was happened under the bridge on Bangalore Hyderabad national highway.

Some were against the policemen and according to them, it was a pre-planned encounter and some were celebrating the encounter. The first post-mortem of the accused was conducted in the government hospital on the same day of encounter. Re-post mortem was ordered by the high court and it was done by the forensic experts of the AIIMS, Delhi. ‘Disha' used a victim's fictional name. #justicefordisha was also used by the protestors.[4]

Kidnapping & Abduction-Kidnapping of women is India's fastest growing crime. Marriage is the biggest reason of kidnapping in India. 10 women kidnapped each day in Delhi in 2018 and in many cases, culprits are known to the woman. Kidnapping and abduction is a violent crime. Indian Penal Code explains the offence of kidnapping & abduction, procuration and importation of girls. The exacting importance of grabbing is youngster taking.

Kidnapping is of two kinds:

  1. kidnapping from India, and
  2. kidnapping from lawful guardianship.
For an offence under this section the victim could even be a male or a female, whether major or a minor. Taking away any person beyond the bounds of India or taking away any person from lawful guardianship without the consent is named kidnapping. If a private has attained the age of majority and has given his consent to his being conveyed, no offence is committed. The age of consent for the aim of offence of kidnapping is 16 years for boys & 18 years for girls.

The provisions of those sections under this head are intended more for the protection of the minors and thus the persons of unsound mind themselves than for the right of guardians of such person. In abduction, an individual is compelled either by use of force or is induced by practicing deceit to move from one place to another. Actual use of force is necessary. [5]

Kidnapping, abducting or inducing women must be with the intent that she could also be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she is going to be compelled to marry any someone against her will; or so as that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse or knowing it to be likely that she is going to be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse. It's immaterial whether the woman kidnapped is married or not.

Procuration of minor girl- Procuration of minor girl has become an emergency that should be taken into consideration. The crime rate has increased gradually in India. This is a violent crime and to constitute the offence, inducing a girl under 18 years of age to travel from any place or to try & do an act and with intention or knowledge that such girl will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with a person. Seduced means inciting or tempting no matter whether the girl has been previously compelled or has submitted to illicit intercourse.

Importations of girl from foreign country- Minor girls are chief target. This section makes it an offence to import into India from any country outside India girls below the age of 21 years for the aim of prostitution.

According to the newest data released by National Crime Records Bureau, a whole of 95,893 cases of kidnapping and abduction were registered in 2017, a rise of 9% from the previous years. Out of them 75% were female victims & out of female victims 90% were recovered alive and rest were dead. The speed of kidnapping and abduction was the highest in Delhi with 27.6 cases per one lakh of population followed by Assam with 23.9 cases and haryana with 15.7 cases. The maximum amount as 43.9% girl (those below the age of 18) were kidnapped and abducted for various reasons.[6]

Cruelty By Husband Or Relatives Of Husband And Domestic Violence:

Cruelty refers to sexually, physically or mentally abuse of a person. Dowry is also a one of the main reasons in India. This is defined in section 498-A of INDIAN PENAL CODE. This section was enacted to meet the cases of dowry deaths.

It was introduced in the year 1983. Its objective is to protect a woman who is being harassed by her husband or relatives of husband. The act of harassment would amount to cruelty for the purpose of this section. Relatives include father, mother, husband, son, daughter, brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandson or grand-daughter of an individual or the spouse of any person. The meaning of word relative would depend upon the nature of the statute. It principally includes a person related by blood, marriage or adoption.

Every third women in India suffers sexual, physical violence at home. According to the survey, 27% of women experienced physical violence since the age of 15 in India. This experience of physical violence among woman is more common in rural areas than among women in urban areas.

Most of the occasion's culprits of this viciousness have been the spouses. 31 percent of married ladies have encountered physical, sexual, or passionate savagery by their life partners. The most well-known sort of spousal brutality is physical violence (27%), trailed by emotional violence (13%). The study detailed that among married ladies who have encountered physical brutality since the age of 15, 83 percent revealed their current spouses as culprits of the savagery.

Be that as it may, for ladies who are not hitched, the experience of physical viciousness comes from the most widely recognized culprits, which incorporate moms or step-moms (56%), fathers or step-fathers (33%), sisters or siblings (27%), and educators (15%). [7]

In any case, the most stressing piece of the spousal-brutality is that pretty much every third married ladies, who has encountered spousal viciousness, announced encountering physical wounds, including eight percent who have had eye wounds, injuries, disengagements, or consumes and six percent who have had profound injuries, broken bones, broken teeth, or some other genuine injury. However, just 14 percent of ladies who encountered this savagery looked for help to stop it. In any case, the defenselessness of halting the brutality being caused on them isn't the main stressing factor. Ladies in India, shockingly, are steady of abusive behavior at home.

Information from the overview shows, ladies in India between the ages of 40 to 49 were generally strong of aggressive behavior at home, with 54.8% in understanding. The rate advocating misuse is hardly lesser among more youthful ladies. 47.7% of young ladies between the age of 15 and 19 concurred with savagery by spouses. This peripheral contrast in perspectives of ladies towards abusive behavior at home is likewise obvious in urban and provincial zones. While 54.4% of rustic ladies studied the nation over concurred with residential maltreatment, just 46.8% of urban ladies upheld such savagery.

Sexual rights are a genuine worry for Indian ladies. Approving this worry, six percent of ladies in India and answered to having encountered sexual savagery in the course of their life. Among wedded ladies who were survivors of sexual savagery, over 83% announced their current spouse and 9% report a previous husband as the culprits. The type of sexual viciousness most normally revealed by ladies was that their significant other utilized physical power to have sex when they would not like to (5.4%). About 4% announced that their better half constrained them with dangers or in different manners to perform sexual acts they would not like to and 3% revealed that their significant other constrained them to perform other sexual acts they would not like to.
Married couples being out of the domain of assault laws empowers men to 'go after' ladies in the security of her home. These measurements give an away from of the sort of inappropriate behavior and viciousness little youngsters and ladies face in India. The situation for unmarried ladies is the same.

The review report featured that most basic culprits of sexual brutality on unmarried ladies were different family members (27%); trailed by a present or previous boyfriend (18%), their own companion or colleague (17%) and a family companion (11%). "Sexual viciousness is regularly dedicated by people with whom ladies have a personal connection. Physical savagery and sexual brutality may not happen in disconnection; rather, ladies may encounter a mix of various sorts of viciousness," the overview report said.[8]

Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place

Inappropriate behavior is the declaration of undesirable human relationship and it isn't simply the infringement of respect, impeccable to government directed assets and reasonable to calm proximity ensured by law. Inappropriate behavior is genuinely hurting and makes a sad, deficient air at the workplace.[9] It is a dangerous issue found in the working environment in India which has changed into the essential factor for diminishing the thought of working life.

The female work hypothesis has decreased stood apart from men since two decades from 1981 to 2001. The 2013 Act is the codification of Supreme Court Vishakha Guidelines, which sees that each lady has the advantage to live with decency and it is the essential thing right of each singular working ladies. The Indian Supreme Court, Vishakha overseeing (1997) not essentially vigorously grounded the contention that every occasion of inappropriate behavior of ladies at work environment was a human rights infringement, other than it developed the framework and masterminded approval on bad behavior at work space (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 in India. Sexual provocation at work environment is neither new nor wonderful, yet it isn't spoken to or spoken adequately about.

At the key level, it is a demonstration of male amazing quality and the inalienable powerlessness to manage ladies at standard with men. Most working ladies face inappropriate behavior at working environment in some shape or the other. It effects and impact trimming down paces of ladies in more noteworthy affiliations wherein legitimate positions the degree of ladies dwindled further. The pace of inappropriate behavior is developing all around.

Under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 the law gives an ordinary fix that if the criminal nature, the fighting is to be recorded with the police handle part 354A of IPC, control for multi year which may reach out to five years with the fine. There are couples of preventive estimates taken at the work environment by this show; the lewd behavior issue must be determinedly talked about at laborer's social affairs, business delegate get-togethers. Ladies can be viewed as change executives in individuals as a rule eye; given their fluctuated parts and the degree of impact they can yield[10].

Vishakha & others v/s State of Rajasthan- It is one of the landmark judgment in the history of sexual harassment of women at work place. Bhanvari Devi was a social activist. She was under a development programme in order to stop child marriage, an initiative taken by the Rajasthan government. As a part of her duty, she tried to stop child marriage of daughter of thakurs. Child was under 1 year. She was infant only.

Her efforts were useless as thakurs ordered everyone to socially boycott her. She was gang raped by Thakur & his 5 friends in front of her husband. She was continually taunted by women constable in police station that night. She was ordered to leave her lehenga at police station as proof of evidence. She was only left with the dhoti of her husband to wrap her body. The trial court discharged the accused.

The high court states that it was a case of gang rape conducted out of revengeful situation. But Supreme Court observed that (after filing writ petition by vishakha, the victim of case) this is against the article 14, 19, 21, of constitution of India which ensures right to dignified life & basic requirement of safe working environment at work place. In this case, Supreme Court made the term sexual harassment well defined. Supreme Court passed the guidelines for the employers and employees to ensure safe working environment at work place. This was done to ensure full dignity to the women at work place. Victim can also use the option to seek the transfer of culprit or her transfer.[11]

Victims Suffer Silently For A Long Time

In India, women suffer silently for a long time. According to BBC report, in every 5 minutes, one woman suffers from violence. Lack of financial support, lack of family support, compromise for the sake of children are the main reasons which stop the woman from raising voice against violence. They usually have less access to employment, property, medical care etc.

Poor Literacy level in India is really a major concern. Literacy level is 64.6% for women whereas it 80.9% for man, according to 2001 census. Most of the women are dependent on the man for financial purpose. Before raising voice, they thought thousand times about the family children and society.

More than 95% of cases of crimes against women go unreported. In states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh Jharkhand, only 0.5 cases of violence against women were reported. In some states like Delhi, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh shows higher reporting rate.

They called women a Devi and irony is that, they beat women, they torture women and they sexually assault them.

Laws to protect women against crimes
  1. The Indian Penal Code, 1860
  2. The Sexual Harassment Of Women At Work Place (Prohibition, Prevention, and Redressal) Act 2013
  3. Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005
  4. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
  5. The Indecent Representation Of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986
  6. The Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956
  7. The Commission Of Sati Prevention Act, 1961
The Constitution of India also ensures gender equality under article 14. Even after introducing such a big amount of laws, crime rate against women continues to be increasing.

Suggestion To Improve The Implementation And Women Related Law
  • Fast Track Courts- Every case related to women should be tried in fast track courts. Cases related to violence against women should be on top of priority list. More and more fast track courts should establish.
  • Strict Punishments- Fear of punishment prevents the law breaker from violating the law. Punishments should be strict for every culprit. Most offences should be categorized under non-bailable offence.
  • Increase Reporting of Cases & Spread Awareness among Women- Women should be aware about their rights. Initiative should be taken by state governments to educate women about the laws. Need of women empowerment is also required.
  • Proper Planning- Law enforcement agencies should make proper plans which help in reducing the violence against women. They should make plans for empowerment of women.
  • Police Department- Police department plays the important role in implementation of laws. They should be more cooperative with victims. Police should encourage women to report crimes.

Conclusion
Crimes against women is a global phenomenon & it is a need of an hour to take steps & protect women against crimes. It is responsibility of every citizen to make the women feel safe in our society. It is a right of every woman to live a dignified and respectable life. Only laws are not sufficient, every citizen should take a pledge to respect every woman. Women are not just mother, sister, daughter, they are the valuable part of our society due to the important roles they play and the duties they perform.

Women contribute to the health and productivity of whole family. Women are the real architects of our society. Gender equality is the only solution in India; still there are many people in India who thinks women are weaker than men. Still, women are not permitted to take decisions for them, women empowerment campaign is like a fresh air in life of a woman. Woman empowerment is the need of an hour, especially in a country like India where women are suffering from injustice. We should provide women a fearless society.

Bibliography:
Primary Sources
  • Legislations
    • Indian Penal Code, 1860
    • Constitution Of India, 1950
    • Sexual Harassment Of Women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
    • Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005
       
  • Guidelines
    • Vishaka Guidelines, 1997
Secondary Sources
  • Books
    • Surya Narayan Misra, Indian Penal Code, 19th edition, 2013
       
  • Internet Sources
    • Diti Pujara, & Gurman Bhatia, Statistics on Rape in India, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-rape-factbox/statistics-on-rape-in-india-and-some-well-known-cases-idUSKBN1YA0UV.
    • Jack Newman, ‘Young Veterinary Doctor is Abducted Gang Raped & Murdered in India'. Daily Mails.
    • Sheikh Saaliq, Every Third Women in India Suffers Sexual, Physical, Violence, News18 India https://www.news18.com/news/india/the-elephant-in-the-room-every-third-woman-in-india-faces-domestic-violence-1654193.html.
End-Notes:
  1. Surya Narayan Misra, The Indian Penal Code 719-720 (9d ed. 2013).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Diti Pujara, & Gurman Bhatia, Statistics on Rape in India, Thompson Reuter Enterprise Centre GmbH (Dec. 6, 2019, 02:19 PM), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-rape-factbox/statistics-on-rape-in-india-and-some-well-known-cases-idUSKBN1YA0UV. Visited on 09/05/20.
  4. Jack Newman, ‘Young Veterinary Doctor is Abducted Gang Raped & Murdered in India'. Daily Mails, Nov.29, 2019.
  5. Surya Narayan Misra, The Indian Penal Code 690-693 (9d ed. 2013).
  6. Nitisha Kashyap, With Maximum Kidnapping, Abduction Cases, News18 India, (Oct. 22, 2019, 11:51 AM) https://www.news18.com/news/india/with-maximum-kidnapping-abduction-cases-up-tops-in-crimes-against-women-2356081.html Visited on 09/05/20.
  7. Sheikh Saaliq, Every Third Women in India Suffers Sexual, Physical, Violence, News18 India, (Feb. 8, 2018, 09:41 AM) https://www.news18.com/news/india/the-elephant-in-the-room-every-third-woman-in-india-faces-domestic-violence-1654193.html VISITED ON 09/05/20.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Adrienne Davis, Slaver & Roots of Sexual Harassment 457-472 (2003).
  10. Bothra, Nidhi. “The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.” SSRN Electronic Journal, 2014, doi:10.2139/ssrn.2498990.
  11. Vishakha & Ors v. State Of Rajasthan, A.I.R. 1997.
Written By: Prateek Takkar, Student - Affiliated Institution: Amity Law School, Noida
E-mail: [email protected], Ph No. 9034760471

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