Basic Legal Rights Women Need to Know To Protect Themselves.
International Day of Justice is observed on July 17th, 2021 as part of an effort to recognize the emerging system of international criminal justice.
Tang Magazine spoke22 to Aninditaa Chander, Advocate/Partner at Allied Law Offices in Hyderabad, about awareness of basic rights women need to know when dealing with law officials and basic information that can help them in dire situations.
1. Domestic Violence: Section 498 A of Indian Penal Code provides protection against domestic violence including physical abuse, beating, torture, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, insults, prohibition or restricted access to resources which the women have a right to enjoy. Further, Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
2. Dowry Harassment – Women can file a police complaint under Section Section 498A read with Section 3, 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 in case in laws, husband or other relatives are torturing and troubling, harassing both mental and physical for dowry.
3. Eve teasing: Women can file a police complaint under Section 509 IPC for eve teasing or when someone is outraging the modesty of a women. Section 509 IPC states that :that whoever intending to insult the modesty of any women, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object which intrudes upon the privacy of such woman shall be punished with imprisonment upto 3 yrs and fine.
4. Sexual Harassment/Outraging the modesty of women: Women are protected by law under Section 354 and 354 A of IPC if any man. Sexual harassment is any unwelcomes advances, explicit sexual overtures, a sexual favour or demand, showing pornography against the will of the women or making sexually coloured remarks and the man committing such an offence shall be punishable with a rigorous imprisonment of three years or fine or with both. Section 354 IPC states that any person who uses criminal force or assaults with the intention to outrage the modesty of the women shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of two years.
5. Stalking: Anyone who follows or attempts to contact women to foster personal interaction such repeatedly despite clear indication of disinterest or monitors the women by using emails, social media or any other form of electronic communication (cyber bullying or cyber stalking) shall be punished with imprisonment for a term to an extent of three years under Section 354D IPC.
6. Acid Attacks: Sale of acid is banned by the Government of India. Section 326 IPC mentions that whoever causes temporary or permanent damage, deformity or disfigures any part of the body by throwing acid by administering acid or by using other means with the intention of causing such injury shall be imprisoned for a term not less than ten years.
7. Kidnapping/ abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage— Women are protected by la under Section 350, 360 and 366 IPC against the act of kidnapping. Section 366 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 states that Whoever kidnaps or abducts any woman with intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled, to marry any person against her will, or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine;
8. Rape : Sections 375 to 378 deal with sexual offences against women. Section 375 IPC states that: A man is said to commit “rape” if he- penetrates his penis or insert any object or a part of body in to vagina, anus, mouth, urethra of a woman or make her to do so with him or any person; or manipulates any part of body of a women so as to cause penetration in to vagina, anus, mouth, urethra of a woman or make her to do so with him or any person; or applies his mouth to the vagina, anus, mouth, urethra of a woman or make her to do so with him or any person,
Under the circumstances:
Firstly– Against her will.
Secondly– Without her consent.
Thirdly– With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
Fourthly- With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
Fifthly– With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
Sixth- With or without her consent, when she is under age of eighteen years.
Seventhly- when she is unable to communicate consent.
Whoever commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years and could be for life.
9. Publishing or transmitting or obscene-explicit material in electronic form in violation of the right to privacy of a person/Voyeursim: In case someone is violating the right of privacy of a person by publishing or transmitting obscene-explicit material in electronic form, including images of a private area of any person without her consent Information, is punishable with imprisonment, which may extend to three years, and/or fine under Section 66A of Information Technology Act, 2000 read with Section 354C & 354D.
10. No arrests after sunset: Women cannot be arrested/taken into custody after sunset and before sunrise.
11. Women cannot be called for interrogation to the Police station: Women are protected by law under Section 160 CrPC, wherein the police officer (Along with a woman constable) making an investigation can interrogate the woman only from the place where the woman resides and shall not be required under law to go to any police station or investigation.
12. Zero FIR: Women have a right to register a complaint/FIR under Zero FIR in any police station, in case the police station where the incident has occurred refuses to register the FIR and tries sending the victim to another police station.