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Women Human Rights During Trial

It is generally believed that criminal law is gender-biased. To a certain extent, it is true. In the process of its evolution, it appears that the criminal law system has kept 'reasonable -man' in view as its basic unit. It is much evident from the present practice also. Even today the 'reasonable man' creeps into the mind of the judge while appraising the evidence or while evaluating the conduct of the accused towards the victim.

The The 'reasonable man' standard came to be accepted as the yardstick by the criminal law, probably in its anxiety to achieve objectivity. But at times the law is not in a position to achieve objectivity as the objective criteria get submerged by the subjective criteria of individual judges. The influence of 'reasonable man' is so profound that even while dealing with offenses against women, judges are inclined to fall back on this yardstick for evaluating the conduct of the victim and the accused.

Both man and woman are endowed alike with autonomy  physical and mental. But the social perception in this regard is grossly flawed. Our judicial arena is also no exception as well. Despite the provisions of the Indian Constitution and many other laws regarding their rights, women are being discriminated against. This trend is visible throughout. Most of the major institutions are created by males and, naturally, have male perception and understanding about the situation of women.[1] Household works of a house-wife is regarded as unproductive�.

Working women are paid lesser in comparison to their male counterparts for the same similar work. In the name of tradition restrictions from superiors of their own families are very often imposed on their freedom of movement. Even they are not free to exercise their discretions while choosing their careers on the basis of their own capabilities and inclinations. Dress codes, sans of trends and contemporary fashions are being insensitively forced upon them without taking into consideration the working conditions around them. Incidents of killing hapless female creatures are nothing uncommon in India.

Though many such cases go unreported, there is no dearth of this heinous crime being reported every day from different parts of the country. Information of female infanticides and feticides rarely leaks out of the four walls of the families concerned. Unfortunately, the killers in such cases are generally none else than the guardians or close relatives of the female victims. Apart from female infanticide and feticide incidents of honor killing and dowry deaths cannot be lost sight of. It is also worth mention that sexual harassment of working women at their places of work has considerably increased and the irony is - far from doing justice, the male co-workers very often argue that the women facing such sexual harassment are over sensitive.

Need For Protection Of Women

The cultural history and various religious texts from ancient India reveals the status of women from the ancient era i.e. theoretically women were given the status of a goddess and were always respected like goddesses but in the last few centuries, the status of women changed and gradually deteriorated due to the paradoxical statements in religious scriptures of medieval past and society. From a global perspective, crimes against women occur every minute with 1 in 3 women.

According to World Health Organizational violence against women such as assault, harassment, intimate partner violence, rape, emotional abuse, etc. becomes an important public health problem in every country. The reports state that in every hour there is a commission of one crime against women in India. Women are not safe, whether they are in their houses or public places, or at the workplace.

Keeping in view the increasing atrocities and crimes against women in India, strong laws are required for women in the country. The notion that women are weak and dependent on men is deeply ingrained in our society. On one hand, we are moving forward with society and taking our developing country to the sky but our thinking about women and their place in society has not changed yet and we are not ready to accept them as breadwinners even today. Not only in India but in the whole world there is a dire need for change in the perspective and to promote them equally with respect and dignity.


The idea of sentencing is the most crucial aspect of the criminal justice system. It reflects the core of the criminal justice model in a given condition and reflects the degree of tolerance as well as retribution against such acts. The study of 'sentencing' goes further, and explains various conditions manifested in the penal policy, and suggests as to what standards are taken to measure criminal liability. The whole idea of sentencing is based on common concern for how to punish an offender who 'deserves the same. What he 'deserves' or how much punishment should be 'appropriate' in a given condition is an uphill task for the policymakers and judges.

The apex court of India has the following to say aptly about sentencing:
While sentencing a criminal the Court should strike a balance between the corrective methods and the policy of deterrence. In doing so, the law should ideally consider factors like pre-planning, motive, nature of the crime, circumstances, method of commissioning of the crime, kinds of weapons used, the behavior of the criminal etc. with equal importance and thereafter decide whether the crime should be dealt with with sternness or mercy.[2]

These two observations clearly lay down appropriate guidelines not only for the future cases and binding over judges but also provides a definite pattern of sentencing for the policymakers.

Theories Of Punishment:

Justification for punishment, theoretically, can broadly be categorized: 'retribution justification and utility justification. In retribution, justification punishment can be justified by the simple claim that wrongdoing merits punishment, and the perpetrator should suffer in proportion to his or her wrongdoing. In this philosophical argument, the punishment is an end in itself, morally justifiable regardless of its subsequent consequence for either the offender or society. Modern criminologists prefer to this approach as a just deserts.

Moral Proportionality' is a key of retribution that is, the punishment should mirror the degree of moral offense that the perpetrator created. Unlike 'just desert, Utilitarianism refers to the objective sought by punishing an offender. Thus, justification for punishment for Utilitarianism point of view is that punishment must be judged as to what extent it will limit 'future' transgressions, and in this way, it provides.[3]
  1. Deterrence Theory of Punishment:
    Deterrence theory provides to put people off committing a crime. The aim of punishment is not only to punish the offender but also sending a clear message in the society against every such act so that others may deter from repeating the same. It should be as severe as no one will dare to commit crimes in the future. It goes by a fiction that if the probable offender knows that he will have his hand cut off if got caught stealing, then he will not steal.

    If people know they will be executed if they are caught murdering, they will not murder. This theory fundamentally presupposes, firstly, that it can restrain the wrongdoer from repeatedly indulging in crimes, and secondly, it can set an example for others. Deterrence can be created when the fruit of the crime is ill-bargain for the offender. So, in some cases, merely punishing with imprisonment would do the job whereas in some cases nothing less than capital punishment would serve the purpose.[4]
  2. Retributive Theory of Punishment:
    The entomological meaning of 'retribution' is 'to make an offender suffer for what they have done'. The retribution theory of punishment preaches that a criminal meets with the same fate as he puts his victim. This idea was conceptualized due to the reason that only retributive justice could bring a kind proportionality in the punishment.

    Thus, 'eye for an eye was argued, even if it makes the whole world blind. The retributive philosophy believes that it is the individual criminal who is wholly responsible for his act and suffering of the victim, and thus he must be punished individually. No mercy should be shown as no one else other than him is accountable for his actions. Primarily, in this theory, more precisely, the body of the accused was being punished.
  3. Preventive Theory of Punishment:
    Total eradication or complete annihilation of crime is a fallacy, what law can do at best, is that it can regulate or prevent it. The preventive theory of punishment argues that the prime objective of the law is not to avenge the crime but to prevent such happening. Since crime has the capacity to endanger law and order and peace of the community, so society would have a greater interest in preventing such occurrence rather than firstly waiting for being totally ravished, and then running after the accused to punish him.

    The preventive theory of punishment is more helpful in 'communication of deterrence' as the efforts of penal laws under this system are to make people more aware of possible penal sanctions rather than giving them no chance of 'shame feeling'. Sentencing according to the preventive theory of punishment is very cruel and harsh in nature. Keeping in mind the typical socio-economic-political status of women, who are in search of equality and fairness, just, and reasonable treatment as enshrined in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution, we reach the conclusion that preventive theory of punishment is irreconcilable with the reformative school of theory.[5]
  4. Reformative Theory of Punishment:
    No man is born a saint or a sinner. A good environment and proper guidance transform an ordinary man into a refined person. On the contrary, want of proper education and guidance may degrade an ordinary man with the inherent prospect of being a law-abiding citizen to a criminal. Here lies the significance of the reformative theory of punishment. Reformative theory of punishment provides that criminal should be taught not to commit crime again, and 'reform' should be the main reason for punishment because it is the only reform which is way forward to stop crime as it has the capacity to bring change in the offender and may convert him into an honest law-abiding citizen.

This theory presupposes socio-environmental conditions for the commission of crimes. It assumes that most criminals commit crimes because of how they have been brought up. Under this theory punishments often involve education/vocational training so that they may assimilate after a specified period of time with the society.

Constitution And Sentencing

Constitution of India, the suprema lex provides grund norm to the penal policy. Constitution provides, promotes 'equality of law' and 'equal protection of laws through special legislations such as Civil Rights Protection Act, 1955; Scheduled Caste/The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 to the disadvantaged section of society. Similarly, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000; Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and other legislations are in force to deal with juveniles and women as a distinct class.

The constitutional idea that 'no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law' with other ancillary provisions such as protection from 'double jeopardy', 'coercive testimony', and protection from 'ex post facto penal laws are not enshrined in the Constitution but also well-devised in the penal policy.[6]
Sentencing and its various forms whether the death penalty, life imprisonment or other forms, were not only challenged but also scrutinized on constitutional principles. The Apex Court has not only done strict scrutiny on the death penalty on the basis of Articles 14, 19, 21 of the Constitution, but also examined it on the basis just, fair and reasonable.[7]

The Apex Court held that it violates Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitutional as it violates the guarantee of equality and also the right to life or personal liberty. The court observed that there is no rational justification for making a distinction in the matter of punishment between persons who commit murders whilst they are not under the sentence of life imprisonment.
Further, no rational distinction can be made in the matter of sentencing between a person who commits murder after serving out the sentence of life imprisonment and a person who commits murder while he is still under that sentence.

Offences Against Women Under The Indian Penal Code

In recent years, the global campaign for the elimination of violence against women indicates the enormity as well as the seriousness of the atrocities committed against women. The fact that such crimes though, in different forms are rampant throughout the world is a sure sign that it is a universal phenomenon.

It is observed that, in India, the effects of changes in lifestyle, wide gaps in living standards, the disparity in economic growth, decreasing social bondages due to rapid urbanization, changes in social ethos, lack of concern for moral values and disrespect for traditional norms are being manifested into disrespectful and at times violent approach towards women. This tendency has resulted in increased crimes against women.

Such incidents are matters of serious concern and its containment is necessary so that Indian women be able to attain their rightful share and could live with dignity, honor, freedom, and peace and remain free from crime and aspersions. Unfortunately, in recent years, crime against women and their exploitation has multiplied many times. This is evident from the fact that rape takes place once in every 54 minutes, eve-teasing in every 51 minutes, molestation once in every 26 minutes, and one dowry death per 1000 minutes.66 In Delhi, the capital of our land, alone 450 rape cases have been reported from 2000 through September 2013.[8]

Crime Against Women

Crimes against women under the Indian Penal Code are as follows:
  1. Rape (sections 375, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D, and 376E the Indian Penal Code); 69
  2. Kidnapping and Abduction for different purposes (Section 363-369, the Indian Penal Code);
  3. Murder, dowry death, Abetment of suicide, etc, (Sections 302, 304B, and 306, the Indian Penal Code);
  4. Cruelty by husband or relatives of husband (section 498A, the Indian Penal Code);
  5. Out raging the modesty of a woman70 (Molestation) (section 354, 354A, 354B, 354C and, 354D (the Indian Penal Code);
  6. Insult to the modesty of women (Sexual Harassment) (Section 509 or 294 the Indian Penal Code)71;
  7. Of Voluntarily Causing Grievous hurt by throwing acid (Sections 326A & Section 326B the Indian Penal Code)72;
  8. Of offenses relating to marriage (Sections 493 to 498 the Indian Penal Code);
  9. Of the causing of miscarriage, injuries to unborn child etc. (Sections 312 to 318)

Provisions Under Code Of Criminal Procedure


The criminal justice process has to deal with the citizen at several stages. The arrest is the first stage. At this stage, the freedom of the citizen is restrained to safeguard the public interest. Different purposes are served by arresting a person. Sometimes, it saves him from retaliatory assault from the public. Sometimes, he is prevented from committing further crimes. And surely arrest helps him to be presented before the appropriate court to stand trial. It is to serve the third purpose that usually a suspect is arrested by the police. While under arrest, the arrested person loses freedom and his normal life in the family. As a consequence of the arrest, he is generally accused of having deviated from normal behavior.

So the decision to arrest is a very serious one from the point of view of human rights. And this decision is usually taken by a police officer in the criminal law system. Indeed, his decision to arrest is subject to the offenses being cognizable.

However, the discretion given to the police under the system is very wide. The police thus wield much power and this position often helps the police to violate women's rights with impunity. Efforts have therefore been made within this sphere to make the criminal law more balanced and just. Under the Criminal Procedure Code (hereafter CrPC) a woman can be arrested by male constables, though in due regard to decency she may be searched by a female officer only.[9]

The anxiety of the CRPC to safeguard the interests of women is reflected in the proviso of Section 47 which requires that if an apartment to be searched by the police is in the occupancy of a woman who according to custom does not appear in public then the police ought to serve her a notice to leave the place during the search. This is to avoid intruding on her privacy and causing any embarrassment to her. Recognizing the importance of the arrest of a woman, it has been suggested that a male officer should avoid touching the woman's body while effecting an arrest. It has also been suggested that a woman shall not be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. [10]

If she is to be arrested, the police officer has to seek prior permission from his seniors. If this is not possible then the arrest can be made but the fact has to be reported to the senior officers with reasons for not taking prior permission. The magistrate is also to be informed of this fact. These safeguards have been suggested to afford maximum protection to the woman accused. These recommendations came to be incorporated in the CRPC Bill 1994.

The Law Commission has made several suggestions for the reform of criminal law. The Commission desired that the police officer making the arrest should satisfy himself about the need for arrest. It suggested that upon arrest the police officer should inform a relative or friend of the arrested person about the arrest either by telegram or by telephone. The police officer should be asked to prepare a custody memo containing all possible information on the person arrested.

The lawyer of the accused should be permitted to be present during interrogation. The obligation to oversee the compliance of these procedures by the police or other authorities has been placed on magistrates by the Commission. The acceptance of this suggestion may have far-reaching consequences.

The Commission has also suggested the incorporation of a new section (S. 41-A) whereby the police officer may if satisfied that immediate arrest of the person concerned is not necessary, issue to him a notice requiring him to appear before the police officer at a specified time and place for further investigation and it shall be the duty of that person to comply with the terms of the notice. If such a person fails to comply with the terms of the notice, it shall be lawful for the police officer to arrest him for the offenses mentioned therein. This provision may be of great use to women who are not assertive enough in their interaction with the police. If the suspects themselves provide assurance of their availability, police interference with the day-to-day life of people can be minimized.

The reputation of the person under a cloud of suspicion can also be protected because he or she may not be needlessly deprived of their freedom. The provisions suggested for safeguarding the security of women may also help ensure the accountability of the police. Of course, the police can still flout these provisions, in as much as they are in a position to find reasons to justify the arrest of women after sunset without the prior permission of a senior police officer or magistrate.

In the landmark case of Bharati S. Khandhar v. Maruti Govind Jadhav[11], the petitioner was aware of the proviso of section 46 (1) but still was unaware about the proviso of section 46 (4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and she was arrested after sunset and was also mistreated by the police officers.

In the PNB Fraud Case, the Bombay High Court imposed a fine on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for making an illegal arrest. The accused was arrested in violation of Section 46 (4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The proviso bars any arrest of women made after sunset and before sunrise unless, in exceptional situations, the arrest can only be made after a woman police officer gets prior permission from the Judicial Magistrate First Class.

The lady had filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court for the violation of section 46 (4) and 60 A of the Code of Criminal Procedure by the officers of CBI. The Bombay High The court allowed the writ petition and held that the arrest of the petitioner was illegal and contrary to the provisions of Section 46 (4) of the Code, and imposed a fine of Rs. 50,000/- upon the respondents.

So at times, we can clearly see that practicing lawyers very well know that senior police officers usually try to justify the acts of their subordinates as institutional interests so demand. Magistrate's intervention in this area also may not be that feasible.

The need for keeping away women and children from the police to the extent possible is felt by all the bodies concerned with law reform. To that end curtailment of the general power of the police to summon witnesses has been proposed. The National Commission for Women has suggested the inclusion of a proviso to Section 160(l) whereby the police should not be allowed to question any male person under the age of eighteen years or a woman at any place other than the place in which such male person or woman resides. The Law Commission has supported the incorporation of this proviso in the CRPC.

Investigation, Trial And Detention

The investigation and trial of rape cases received serious consideration at the hands of the National Commission for Women and the Law Commission. It has been recommended that in rape cases the report under Section 177 should include the medical examination report. It is also suggested that this report should be ready within three months.

Both Commissions preferred the investigation including the collection of evidence and trial of these cases to be conducted by women police officers. It has also been suggested that if the victim happens to be a child under 18 years, she should be questioned only in the presence of her parents. All the investigative work such as the preparation of statements of witnesses, medical examination of the victim, etc., should be done by women officers.

Though the Women's Commission insists on only women personnel, the Law Commission has suggested that in the absence of women police officers the victim's examination could be conducted by other police officers with the consent of the victim or person who has the authority to give permission on her behalf. The National Commission also recommended the inclusion of a new section which will make it obligatory to get the victim examined by a female medical practitioner.

The belief that women adjudicators would more sensitively safeguard the interests of women causes the National Commission for Women to suggest that by the proviso to Section 26(a) CRPC it should be provided that trial of an offense under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code be only tried by a court presided over by a woman.

In my opinion, these suggestions are rather unfortunate. Their makers seem not to have looked at the problem from the standpoint of the court. Are these Commissions working on the assumption that all men are prejudiced? Or, alternatively, do they think that all women are pro-women? One takes a dim view of these recommendations because they reflect a total lack of faith or confidence in our system.

They also suggest that all police officers and judges allow themselves to be guided by their personal attitude towards certain issues. One should not forget that the ruling in Tukaram[12] , the view that the problems of women are better understood by women lends support to the argument of exclusive adjudication by women.
These arguments however are dubious as crimes are essentially social problems.

When we deal with an offense like rape, we are dealing with a social problem. It no doubt affects women more. But a court whether functioning through a woman or man should develop sympathetic detachment, appreciate the special nature of the offense and decide accordingly. In an examination of the victim, it may be, the presence of a woman police officer facilitates the collection of information. All the same it is my strong view that there should not be all-woman machinery for the investigation and trial of rape cases.

The argument for an all-woman the court is also flawed because if women judges are there because of their empathy to the victim, it can easily be argued that the male accused is not being judged by an impartial judicial system. If both the victim and the accused should have the confidence that the system would be fair and impartial, we should not have the system envisaged by the National Commission for Women.

Dowry Deaths And Marital Rape

The frequent occurrence of what are called dowry deaths and the not so prompt action by the police has caused lawmakers to prescribe that dead bodies of such women should be sent to a government doctor. Section 174(2) now requires that in cases of death of a woman within seven years of her marriage, the police have to send the dead body to a civil surgeon for examination. [13]

The idea behind this provision is that the law shall treat such a death as a death in suspicious circumstances and as far as possible conduct an impartial investigation rather than allow the individual police officer the discretion to decide. It is now argued that marital rape should be a crime and that the guilty husbands should be punished.

Theoretically, this argument appears to be sound but in this vast country where child marriages are being conducted in contravention of the law, if marital rape is punished it will result in injustice all around.

With regard to marital rape, the CRPC at present stipulates that if it has taken place and acquiesced in by the wife, who is under 15 years, for more than one year no prosecution should be launched. This provision appears to have been enacted to save a marriage from being broken up. This cautious and balanced approach is reflected in the language of the section. Section 198-A requires that the court should not take suo moto action in the case of domestic quarrels.

This provision is also enacted with a view to helping the woman save her marriage. Section 199 takes care of women who by reason of customary practices do not appear before the court or the police.

In cases affecting such women, others have been permitted to complain on their behalf. The concern of the CRPC for the woman goes to the extent of incorporating a proviso in Section 416 whereby when a woman sentenced to death is found to be pregnant, the High Court can postpone the execution of the sentence and, if it thinks fit, commute the sentence to imprisonment for life. Obviously, this provision indicates the value accorded to motherhood by the criminal justice system. It also shows a legal unwillingness to kill a to-be-born child in the womb of a convicted woman since it has not committed any crime. It is now proposed that the proviso to Section 416 may be so amended as to make it mandatory on the High Court to order commutation when a woman sentenced to death is found pregnant.

As a general rule Section 437 lays down that persons accused of offenses carrying heavy punishments should not be released on bail. The proviso makes the above rule inapplicable to cases of children below 16 years, sick or infirm persons, and women. In other words, even in serious cases, women and children would be granted bail. This, it appears, is to ensure that women and children are not held in prison for long periods as such confinement may have other more harmful consequences. It has been suggested by the Law Commission that women prisoners should be exempted from the rigors of Section 433-A.

In other words, in the case of women convicted of serious offenses and serving life sentences the obligation to serve 14 years need not be insisted upon. This would mean that a life sentence in the case of a woman would not have to be 14 years of imprisonment. This suggestion, however, may not be easily adopted by Parliament.

Maintenance Of Wife

An effort to provide protection to women is also made by Sections 124 to 128 of the CrPC. Every action under this chapter is full of questions that are relevant not only for the prevention of vagrancy but also for determining the status of Indian women. The Explanation to Section 125 states that 'wife' includes a woman who has been divorced by, or has obtained a divorce from, her husband and has not remarried. This Explanation has raised a lot of heat and dust and provoked extensive discussions in the country.

The interpretation of the word 'wife' as legally wedded wife has created many problems in the context of different personal laws applicable to various communities in India. The insistence that the marriage should be legally valid under the personal law applicable to the parties as a precondition for the applicability of the CRPC has made many a woman lose her right to maintenance. Such an interpretation has thus prevented the CRPC from fulfilling its primary aim of preventing vagrancy.

For example, in Ananta Rao's case[14], the second marriage of a Hindu male with a Hindu female was held to be void and the second wife found not entitled to maintenance under Section 125 CRPC. The second wife pleaded ignorance of the first marriage of her husband.

The court however ruled that for the interpretation of statutes it is the intention of the legislature and not the attitude of the party which is relevant.

This kind of reasoning tempts one to ask, whether it could be the intention of the legislature whilst enacting Section 125 that a woman who was trapped into marriage by a man having a living spouse should be made to suffer for no fault of her own? Section 125 is defective in that it does not recognize the right of a woman who happens to contract a null and void marriage to claim maintenance. The non-performance of essential ceremonies also will have the effect of rendering a marriage void ab initio.

Under the Indian conditions, it is likely that many women will have no awareness about the essential ceremonies of marriage. They may not know the rule that if such ceremonies are not performed, the marriage would not be valid. Having regard to the philosophy underlying Section 125 is absolutely unjust to hold that only legally wedded wives are entitled to maintenance under that provision.

The difficulties created by the insistence of marriages to be lawful under the personal laws have to be solved. In this vast country, people conduct marriages by mere exchange of rings or garlands.[15] A number of judicial decisions have held a couple to be man and wife when they lived in such a manner and were recognized as husband and wife by the community in which they were living. It is imperative that courts should recognize such marriages as valid for the application of Section 125. Such an interpretation would be in consonance with the objective of the provision of preventing vagrancy.

With regard to the enforcement of the maintenance order, it has been ruled by the Supreme Court in Kuldip Kaur v. Surinder Singh[16] that imprisonment was not a substitute for payment of maintenance. Imprisonment is only a coercive measure that has to be used to compel a person to pay up the amount. In other words, the person will be imprisoned till he makes the payment. It is not known how far this arrangement has proven effective in ensuring prompt payment. This chapter of the CRPC needs to be urgently reviewed. It ought to be recast to meet the pressing needs of women in India.

The law reformers need to think of alternative machinery for the prevention of vagrancy of women and children. When the provisions are so reviewed, it would be useful to also examine the statutes whereby the National Commission for Women and the National Human Rights Commission has been established. Then and then alone shall we have an integrated system that effectively deals with the violation of rights of women under the criminal justice system with required enthusiasm and vigor.

Conclusion And Suggestion
Discrimination against women is galore in society and inherent as well in the legal system. We commit such offenses both consciously and subconsciously. Pointing out those discriminations committed against women is the most important part of this research Awareness of this shortcoming will be helpful in changing the all-important mindset of society. In providing justice to women, restorative justice has to be properly implemented and fortified further.

For this, only enactment of women-specific laws and framing of different compensation schemes is not sufficient. Proper care has to be taken for its implementations. Unless, the judicial and the administrative machinery, upon whom rest the bulk of the responsibility of its implementation is properly briefed and oriented, success will remain a distant dream. Further, moods and awareness levels of the societies betterments of which is the main object of these legislations have also to be properly evaluated.

The inherent reasons for treating women in India in such indecent manners are probably some or all of the followings:
  1. Physiological differences:
    Discriminations and inequalities against women in the sphere of social, economic, political, and cultural developments are generally justified with the plea of physiological differences between men and women. This all prevailing notion is the main obstacle in visualizing a society with equal rights for man and woman and to imagine a society where women are no longer thought to be born only for household chores. The truth is that no household work is indeed women-specific!

    Both, man and woman are physiologically capable alike for all sorts of domestic works. There is absolutely no physiological basis to think that the capacities of women are inferior to that of men and to perpetuate with this plea the idea of inequalities against them. However unpalatable for them, once men come to term with this truth they will cease to devalue the domestic works which in turn is sure to usher respect and recognition for the woman at home. There is an urgent need for attitudinal and structural change in order to eliminate this kind of inequality.
  2. Gender inequalities:
    Women, for their gender alone, are denied equal access to the power structure that controls society and determines development issues and peace initiatives. In addition, the practice of discrimination on the basis of race, color and ethnicity prevalent in some countries cause further inequality in the status of women.
  3. Fundamental resistance:
    As a trend in general, any effort to raise the status of women and to eliminate discrimination against them is resisted impulsively by society. As a matter of fact, it results in unfruitful use of women's talent and waste of valuable human resources so essential for developments of the society and enhancing the scope of peace. Guardians of society are unmindful of the fact that society becomes the ultimate loser when the talents of women are under-utilized due to such discriminations.
  4. The widespread gap between legislative changes and their effective implementation:
    Even when legislative changes are introduced to promote the marital or family status of women lack of political and administrative will prevent its effective implementations and so the discrimination and exploitations continue unabated. The law as a recourse does not automatically benefit all women equally because of the socio-economic inequalities which in turn affects women's knowledge of and access to the law and their ability to exercise their entire legal rights without fear of incrimination or intimidation.

    Thus, the lack of information on women's right is also hampering the promotion of women's right to equality.
  5. Introduction of legislative changes with a proper understanding of the relationship between tradition and legal system: In societies, traditional norms conflicting with the legal system at times may and does exist. For example, customary provisions may have sanction for something which may be in conflict with the provisions of law. In such cases, possible contradictions should be anticipated and attention must be paid to ensure that it does not contain or imply any direct or indirect discrimination so that women's right to equality may be fully respected in that law.
  6. Above all, there is still a deep-rooted resistance on the part of the conservative elements of the society and this section of the society is not yet ready to bring in changes in attitude so essential to make a total ban on discriminatory practices against women of every walk of life possible.

Some Suggestions by the Researcher are as Follow:
  1. First of all, sincere efforts in this regard have to be made to increase the awareness level of the women of our country. A major portion of the women of our country, especially the village women, are not aware of their rights. That being the case, it should not be expected that they will on their come forward to claim or enjoy it!
  2. Proper implementation of Human rights is another important requirement for curbing offense against women.
  3. Proper sex education should be started at an early age for boys and girls at the school level. In that case, they will be able to easily cope with the ensuing psychological and physiological changes in their body and mind.
  4. For the possible eradication of such crime from the root of the society - guardians, academic institutions, and local bodies should make a coherent effort to initiate sensitization.
  5. It is essential that the Police force be sensitive and more prompt.
  6. Prosecution needs to be faster.
  7. Prison authorities need to conduct regular proper counseling programs with priority.
  8. Press need to exploit every opportunity to spread awareness about the law.
  9. There is an urgent need to increase the percentage of women serving in Police, Judiciary, and in the profession of law and such allied services.
Women are unaware that they wish to fulfill their dream in ways typical to men. There is a need to eradicate biased views embedded in the social mindset from which even educated and enlightened women are not free. The omnipresent belief that during menstruation women are impure and so untouchable is one glaring example of such views. While in fact, it is a normal natural phenomenon with a very definite purpose.

Another flawed social concept is that women by wearing western clothes invite rape. Though, the reality is that village women wearing ethnic dresses are being victimized alike. Even, it is found that kids wearing frocks are not spared. Instead of the influence from without, the all-important point in this regard is to make a sincere effort to reform the mindset from within. To set forth the motion in the desired direction a paradigm change has to be introduced in the attitude of the society in general along with that of the concerned administration, the police, doctors, lawyers, and judges in particular.

For For the sake of their own emancipation, victims too have to be forthcoming and should have the courage to challenge. They should begin to genuinely believe that there is nothing to hide, and being armed with the awareness of their legal rights and duties should put their right foot forward to free themselves from this social bane. In India, the feminist movement is unfortunately restricted to a liberal ideology which only claiming rights as men.

  1. Women in India, as is well known, have never been treated well even at home or while at work.� --- The object and Reason of The National Commission for Women Act, 1990
  2. Jameel v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2010) 12 SCC 532; See also Gopal Singh v. State of Uttarakhand, JT
  4. D.S. Nagin, Deterrence and incapacitation. In M. Tonry (Ed.), The Handbook of Crime and Punishment, New York
  5. B. Hudson, Understanding Justice: An Introduction to Ideas, Perspectives, and Controversies in Modern Penal Theory
  6. Article 14 the Constitution of India.
  7. Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1980 SC 898; Machhi Singh v. the State of Punjab (1983)
  8. Tribune, April 15, 1999p.1, Times, December 8, 2002
  9. Kidnapping or abduction with intent secretly or wrongfully to confine a person (section 365, the Indian Penal Code
  10. Kidnapping or abduction and inducing a woman to compel her marriage etc. (section 366, the Indian Penal Code)
  11. Bharati S. Khandhar v. Maruti Govind Jadhav AIR 2013 (1) ABR 694.
  12. State of Maharashtra v. Chandra Prakash Kewal Chand Jain (1990) 1 SCC 550
  13. See Section 174(1) which lays down thus: The report shall be signed by such police officers and another person, or by so many of them as concur therein and shall be forthwith forwarded to District Magistrate or SubDivisional Magistrate (i) when the case involves suicide by women within 7 years of her marriage; or (ii) the case relates to the death of a woman within 7 years of her marriage in nay circumstances raising a reasonable suspicion that some other person committed an offense in relation to such woman; or (iii) the case relates to the death of a woman within seven years of her marriage and any relative of the woman has made a request in this behalf.
  14. Yamunabai Adhav v. Anantrao Adhav (1988) 1 SCC 530
  15. Rattan Devi v. Padam Singh Kapoor 1981
  16. (1989) 1 SCC 405 and Naresh Chandra v. Reshma Bai 1992

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