Kerala minister wants presumption based rape charges
Posted June 4, 2012on:
This is on the basis of an article published in a commercial news daily, Mathrubhumi.com (http://www.mathrubhumi.com/story.php?id=276488) regarding public consultation for new women protection law. I’ve not found anything regarding this subject in the website of Kerala Legislative Assembly (http://kerala.gov.in/ or http://www.niyamasabha.org) which I believe is the ultimate law making body in the State of Kerala. I am not aware of any bill presented or any committee formed by the assembly of Kerala in order to draft, discuss and decide on any such new laws.
Before I get more information about the official details, I would like to make some comments about the news. The news article primarily focus on 5 points
- Taking pictures of women violating their privacy
- Possession of such pictures and videos
- Heads of the educational institutions can ban mobile phones
- Presumption of Rape, in case of death of woman whose modesty is outraged.
- Include provision to protect privacy of women in public places
Taking picture of women violating their privacy
- What is the definition of public and private when it comes to a person?
- Where are the places that are considered to be public where a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy?
- Is this regardless of the consent of the women ?
- When in dispute, what hybrid technology will be applied to validate the “once given consent”? Is that torture?
Possession of such pictures and videos
- How does a person know whether or not the picture and video have made by violating the privacy of women?
- Is Mr. Radhakrishnan suggesting a total ban of taking pictures and videos of women?
- Will it be an offense if women are found in possession of such pictures and videos?
- If this has to be regulated through legislation then first thing to do is to legislate what is allowed; Sir, is this a step towards legalizing pornography?
- Is this government encroachment into personal life of citizens?
Heads of the educational organizations can ban mobile phones
I believe, not only educational institutions but also any kind of organizations can have their own rules and bylaws on their private property. Even the head of government owned educational institutions, nothing is preventing them to bring such bans. By putting this into statute books, is Mr.Radhakrishnan opening the doors of educational institutions, whether in private or public sector, for free entrance of his Police. He may not have the intention to do that, but what is the guarantee that the next minister will not misuse this unlimited power?
Presumption of Rape, in case of abnormal death of woman whose modesty is outraged
- Are we eager to give away the universal and natural human right to be considered innocent until proven guilty?
- Indian statutes do not consider women as a perpetrators of rape. If a woman is violating the privacy of another women and takes obscene pictures or videos to malign the modesty, how will the presumption trick work? Is Mr. Radhakrishnan suggesting to let the perpetrators go on ‘humanitarian’ grounds? Or is there a presumption in the suggested statute that women will NEVER do it?
- What if the parties involved consciously make the video and pictures for their personal gratification and an unknown third party ‘steals’ it and publish it? According to Mr.Radhakrishnan who all have to go to face Rape? The person in the footage, the person who steals it and everyone who received it whether sought or unsought!!!
I have a trivial suggestion here Sir – Laws cannot implement Morality!
Include provision to protect the privacy in public places
- What level of privacy is expected on public places?
- What is the definition of public places then?
- Is this a step towards a totalitarian neo fascist government under the facade of women protection?
Why do we need a duplicate law when we have Section 67 of Information Technology Act which prohibits publishing of information which is obscene in electronic form.
Section 354 of Indian Penal Code does not define what constitutes the outrage of female modesty, hence, this is also applicable.
If the idea is to prohibit taking pictures and videos without the consent of the parties involved, then what we need is a comprehensive privacy law. Going for a presumption based one sex protection is violation of the constitutional right to equal protection before law.
If the idea is to prevent the suicides, then we need a comprehensive sexual intimidation law ( https://prassoon.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/it%E2%80%99s-high-time-for-sexual-intimidation-law/ ) which may prevent sky rocketing male suicide who face false allegations. Without properly analysing the gravity of the issue and making irrational and draconian laws will give adverse effect in the society just the same way it did in the other presumption based women protection laws. Result – Every 9 minutes one husband commits suicide! (Source NCRB) A detailed report on this subject is available here.
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