Be informed of the Legal angle as provided in the Indian Penal Code
(These laws apply to both women and girls)
Section 209, IPC— Obscene acts and songs- Whoever, to the annoyance of others:
does any obscene act in any public places or
sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment for up to three months, or with a fine, or both.
Section 354, IPC — Assault or criminal force to a woman with the intent to any women, intending to outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment for up to two years, or with a fine, or both.
Section 509, IPC — Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman- Whoever intending to insult the modesty of any woman utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen by a woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of a woman, shall be punished with imprisonment for up to one year, or with a fine, or both.
Amendments to the laws on sexual violence enacted in the last two decades have failed to cover sexual harassment. The following inadequate provisions in the IPC and labor laws continue to be used in addition to those listed above:
Industrial Disputes Act Rule 5 Schedule 5- Cases
It can be argued on the basis of unfair labour practices — If an employee suffers unfair dismissal or denial of employment benefits as a consequence of the rejection of sexual advances, she may file a case.
Sec 375 of the IPC provides that a man is said to commit rape if he has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions-
1. Against her will
2. Without her consent
3. With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or putting any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
4. With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
5. 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.
6. With or without her consent when she is below 16 years of age.
By definition, rape means penetration at any level. Exception: Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen yeas of age is not always defined as rape in Indian law.
The punishment for Rape
(see Sec 376 of the Indian Penal Code)
A person convicted of rape can be punished with imprisonment for seven years which may be extended to life imprisonment. He may also be imprisoned for up to ten years and fined.
Dowry means any property given or agreed to be given by those getting married or by their parents at or before marriage or after the marriage in connection with the marriage.
ADDRESSES FOR ASSISTANCE FOR WOMEN
Women’s Rights Initiative, 63/2, First Floor, Masjid Road,Jungpura, New Delhi,
Vimochana, 2124, 16th B Main, 1-A Cross, HAL IInd stage, Bangalore-560038.
Forum Against Oppression of Women, 29 Bhatia Bhawan. BabrakarMarg, Gokhale Rd (North), Dadar (West), Mumbai -400028
Joint Women’s Programme, 16 Elgin Road, Kolkata -700020.
Some police stations have police women who are trained to help. Some cities have women’s organizations.