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Rethinking The Anti Rape Law

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By Sayendri Panchadhyayi:

The anti-rape law bill should accentuate upon the role of community. Of late, it has often been witnessed that the fading state of the active community networks turns the localities into a breeding ground for perpetuating criminal activities. The emergence of gated communities and individualism has stalled communication and socialization among the individuals in their community. We often don’t have any clue about our next door neighbours and there is a sense of detachment from our locality. In the preliminary level, the community, as a collective, should be responsible for the maintenance and supervision of its security. Law cannot create ties and bonds but a constitutional validity of community security is the need of the hour. A strong community has the power to keep at bay hooliganism from its ambit.

bekhauf azadi

Secondly, optimal use of technology at the public places and the public transport to keep a track on the perpetrators is needed. It is not always possible for the survivor to remember the facial details of the perpetrator or have a look at the number plate of the vehicles. CCTV cameras can be attached with the traffic light and lamp posts, CCTVs for the public transport and a monitoring device so that the traffic police can be updated about the movement of the vehicles. If these regulations are not met, the license of vehicles should be cancelled. Police constables in plain uniform should be posited at the problem zones (areas that are infamous for recording the highest rate of such crimes). Biker gangs indulging in hooliganism and violence against women should be prosecuted. Often, the lanes and bylanes are not included in the surveillance duty of the police, it needs to be taken care of.

Thirdly, the punishment for any form of sexual offence should be made non-bailable. Once proven guilty all forms of rape should invite equal punishment. There is a hierarchy between the most brutal rape and less brutal rape which needs to be put to rest now. Life imprisonment should be compulsory for the rapists and 10 years of jail for the sexual offenders. It should be mandatory for courts to to resolve the cases related to sexual offences at first in comparison to other forms of civil and criminal cases. They must solve the case within 2 months and should not stretch beyond 5 months even if the perpetrator is absconding.

Lastly, the anti-rape bill remains mum about sexual offences faced by women. The state policy of appeasing its security forces to get away when they commit crime should be immediately halted. Discrimination based on social position while deciding on the punishment of perpetrators should be penalized and brought within the constitutional jurisdiction.

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  1. Raj

    Excuse me! You forgot to mention that our primitive laws define rape as only penetration. The 1st change should probably to make it less sexist and use the term “sexual assault” which is gender neutral and also allows for male victims shelter under the law.
    Also, there should be severe punishments for frivolous rape cases, especially the ones involving fake promises of marriage. Such cases make a mockery of the victims of violent rapes.
    And no, I do NOT believe in equal punishment for all rapes, given the crazy definitions of rape in our country. Did you know that an intoxicated woman’s consent is invalid and the man is thus a rapist if he has sex with her, whether he is intoxicated or not. And a woman having sex with a drunk man, that doesn’t even qualify as rape even though the man is clearly incapable of giving consent and also is in no position to fight back.

    1. Pritam Thakur

      I agree with you. EQUAL punishment for all sexual offenders will invite more violence. Think from the mentality of a criminal. While committing the heinous crime, if he has on mind that he will receive same punishment for “more brutal” and “less brutal”, he will be inclined towards being “more brutal.”

    2. Raj

      That is a point, but not the most important point i.e. the definition of rape is inherently sexist and vague. And the sexist part is really bad since our rape laws assume that a woman can never rape a man! It is shameful that we have such regressive laws.

    3. Pritam Thakur

      Totally !
      In many cases the laws are misused by women and the men are helpless because Indian law is tilted in favor of women !
      You should check this out on Quora:

      The Indian Society is sexist is every aspect and I believe this narrow-mindedness of both men & women is creating more problems !!

    4. Pritam Thakur

      @Sayendri: Maybe you should re-think your article !!

    5. Raj

      Such cases are severely detrimental not just to men, but also to the actual victims of violent rapes. It distracts scarce resources from pursuing actual rape cases and instead gets caught up in such cases.
      Of course there is a broad societal issue here, which concerns a woman’s virginity which is still prized but a man’s virginity is disposable. If a man complains about being raped by a woman while he was drunk, he is met with with mockery and also sometimes with congratulations.
      For such cases, I feel that women and society must accept consensual sex as a normal thing and the woman must not victimize herself as a rape victim if she is cheated out of marriage despite having consensual sex. Note the word “consensual”; I’m not talking about victims who were forced into a sexual intercourse through threat of violence. They are indeed victims and the law and order system must severely punish the perpetrators.

    6. Pritam Thakur

      Agree with you…

      These days when I hear news of rapes, I always take them with a pinch of salt. There is no doubt that many of the reported cases are fake and being used to victimize the men.

      As you said they are detrimental to the cases of violent rapes! It distracts the lawmakers & society’s attention to the real sufferers of this unforgivable crimes.

      Also I think that the reals solution to this problem is not just mere protests and showing public anger. We saw the Delhi Gang Rape case right! There was demand of fast-track court but has anything happened? The most pathetic part is the people (especially the youth) have cooled down and seem to have forgotten everything!!

  2. Sayendri Panchadhyayi

    Trying to hierarchize and create a difference between forms of rape cannot be encouraged which has of late been a trend. If u r making this statement that that there shouldn’t equality in terms of punishment to the perpetrators u r contending that some forms of rapes or sexual offences hold greater importance and some forms do not. @Raj I have focused on the aspects of the anti-rape Bill in terms of the issues that have been excluded. The recent Anti-Rape already has changed the word ‘rape’ to ‘sexual assault’ to accommodate the the broader spectrum of meanings and scopes. Rape is a forcible sexual intercourse and hence it should speak for itself that WHY i have accentuated upon EQUAL punishment. A rapist or a sexual offender often is not abreast with the consequences so when it is argued that it equal punishments will invite graver consequences i think u r on the wrong track. If u r arguing that punishment should vary for different forms of rape on the assumption that the perpetrator might afflict greater atrocity then u r implying that WE should architect our laws in accordance to our submission to fear against sexual offenders….

    1. Raj

      Please read the current rape laws as they stand. They are quite sexist(anti-men to be precise) and all the points I have mentioned are indeed valid. And I disagree that statutory rapes, consensual drunk sex, sex in lieu of false marriage promises etc. are in any way comparable to the magnitude of brutal rapes like the one in Delhi. I disagree that they all should invite the same punishment.
      And you have forgotten to talk about men getting raped by women. Is that even defined as a crime?

    2. Pritam Thakur

      One question to you Sayendri:

      In India there are 39000 child marriages happening everyday. that is one out of every 2 girls married in India is below the age of 18. Since sexual intercourse by a man with a girl/woman below the age of 18 is considered to be rape (no matter consensual or not), so approximately there are 39000 rapes happening in India everyday (although it complies with the wish of the families and society). The girl may be offended by her husband and launch a complain.

      As Raj pointed out, sexual intercourse (forcible or not) with a drunk woman will be considered rape by the law because the law assumes that an intoxicated woman is not in a position to give consent.

      Now, compare the above two with the brutal gangrape in Delhi. Or the rape of the 5 year old girl who was hospitalised.

      You say that equal punishment should be given to all the charged criminals ?

      And yes I am contending that some form of rapes or sexual offences hold greater importance “than other”

      Strictly speaking from the perspective of lawmakers, the word “forcible” in “forcible sexual intercourse” is a very subjective term. The definition will vary from person to person.

    3. Raj

      Not just child-marriages, many teenagers below the age of 18 are engaging in consensual pre-marital sex, are we going to call all those young boys rapists?

    4. shastri

      very good points ……………….all women only think dat only dey r in trouble .But men r also in trouble , actually as women dont give consent to d person dey dont find attractive or whatever likewise men also dont like every women ,but such kind of women do assault on men , but men dont reveal cuz its a kind of shame for men dat he can be assaulted by a woman ….

  3. K.B.Srivastava

    I request the government to provide a pistol (to get culprits unconscious for some time) free of cost to poor girls for their safety against rape.

    1. Raj

      While I do support limited gun rights for all, why should the pistols be given only to girls and that too poor ones? Shouldn’t everyone get it?

  4. Ridhi Murari

    A balance of opinion of a male and female is required to initiate laws.

    1. Raj

      More than having new laws we need the existing ones to be implemented properly. Passing laws is easy.
      Also I don’t really see this as a male vs female thing. It’s all about force, violence , threats and coercions and perpetrators vs victims. Gender is irrelevant

  5. K.B.Srivastava

    I had twitted on 4th Jan.,2013 that “Government is requested to provide a pistol (with bullet containing anaesthesia to get the culprits unconscious for some time) free of cost to all poor girls & ladies for their safety against rape.” I have written several letters to the Honourable Prime Minister since then and his office has written me that my letters are being reviewed. Because poor girls are economically weak, this is why I have requested the government to provide them a pistol free of cost. Rich girls have money and they can purchase the same but poor girls are unable to purchase. I have sent him a letter containing 132 pages in which solution of almost all problems of India has been written. If anybody want to get that letter, he/she may write his/her e mail address to enable me send the same. My e mail address is—

    1. Raj

      Your solutions are all about wasting tax-payers money on what you see fit. You wish to subsidize poverty and encourage it. And your latest idea about distributing pistols to only poor girls is downright sexist and classist. Guns should be available to all without many restrictions.
      Also please don’t try to dip bullets in anesthesia and shoot people thinking it will knock them unconscious. The bullet will kill them regardless.

  6. K.B.Srivastava

    At the time of treatment of lions pistols containing anaesthesia are used to get them unconscious for some time, not to kill them. At least there is a question of wastage of money of tax payers, I am not in favour of wastage. I have twitted on 19.8.2013 that ” In financial year 2013-14, GOI has sanctioned Rs6.385kharab for Indira Awas Yojna, Rs19.2726kharab for Sarve Sikchha Abhiyan, Rs9.0155kharab for Mid Day Meal, Rs4.8642kharab for National Social Assistance, Rs25kharab for National Health Mission, Rs7.6678kharab for Backward Region Grant fund, Rs10.850kharab for Integrated Child Development Service, Rs2.9006kharab for National Rural Livelihood Mission and Rs13.50kharab for Food Security. Grand total of all amount is Rs99.5095kharab. Although these amounts are sanctioned under different schemes and in different heads, but all amounts are for welfare of poor families of India If Government transfer these amounts directly in accounts of 16Cr poor families (whose votes make government), each family will receive Rs5182/- per month and if State Governments are also add their 50% share, 16Cr poor families will receive Rs10364/- per month and if government seize black money of Rs250kharab and pay its interest to 16Cr poor families(whose votes make government) each family will receive Rs11666/- per month. If these amounts are not directly transferred in accounts of 16Cr poor families(whose vote make government), government employees will embezzle the same.”

    1. Raj

      Even I want 10364/- per month for being poor. I am going to stop working now and let the Govt. take care of me. Thank you

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