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An open letter to the Prime Minister of India on the issue of crime against women
We are going through a process where public demands capital punishment for the rapist. Public wants persons involved in the act of gang rape incident in Delhi, to be hanged till death in front of the public. As the part of public I dare to express my thoughts about the judicial system and current scenario of women protection in India.

To,
The Prime Minister of India,
New Delhi

Subject: Crime against Women in India, Need immediate actions and Separate Law

Sir,

I want the rape is to be included in the ‘rare of rarest’ matter and who so ever indulge in this activity to be hanged. I am not writing this letter only because of this. I have lot of questions and suggestions by which this act may be reduced. I will try to put my consent in point to point manner.

They are as following:

1. There is urgent and quick need of amendment required in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 on section 376 and Section 326, Section 375 gives very narrow definition of Rape, which needs to be enlarged in present section 375 provides “A man is said to commit rape" who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions:-

First: 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 her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.

Fifth: 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 sixteen years of age.

Explanation:  Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of rape. Exception. - Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.” Where in America definition of Rape is “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

In England Under section 1(1) Sexual Offences Act 2003 a defendant, A, is guilty of rape if:

a. A intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of B (the complainant) with his penis;
b. B does not consent to the penetration; and,
c. A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
 
“In South Africa, rape is defined by the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007 (Act No. 32 of 2007). This act has repealed the common law offence of rape and replaced it with a new expanded statutory offence of rape, applicable to all forms of sexual penetration without consent, irrespective of gender.

Rape is defined as follows:
Any person ("A") who unlawfully and intentionally commits an act of sexual penetration with a complainant ("B"), without the consent of B, is guilty of the offence of rape. And "sexual penetration" is defined as:

Any act which causes penetration to any extent whatsoever by-
(a) The genital organs of one person into or beyond the genital organs, anus, or mouth of another person;
(b) Any other part of the body of one person or, any object, including any part of the body of an animal, into or beyond the genital organs or anus of another person; or
(c)The genital organs of an animal, into or beyond the mouth of another person.”

Similarly section 326 of India Penal Code 1860 is not enough to deal with the “Acid Attack”, There is need of separate section for “Acid Attack” where some harsh sentence to be awarded the accused involved in Acid Attack. Other Countries have law regarding Acid Attack.

In 2002, Bangladesh introduced the death penalty for throwing acid and laws strictly controlling the sale, use, storage, and international trade of acids. The acids are used in traditional trades carving marble nameplates, conch bangles, goldsmiths, tanneries, and other industries, which have largely failed to comply with the legislation, derided by Salma Ali of the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association as a "dead law".

1. Under the Qisas law of Pakistan, the perpetrator may suffer the same fate as the victim, and may be punished by having drops of acid placed in his/her eyes. This law is not binding and is rarely enforced according to a New York Times report.

According to Afshin Molavi, in the early years of the revolution, and following the mandating of the covering of hair by women in Iran, some woman were threatened with an acid attack by the Islamic vigilantes for wearing a Hijab. Today, Iran has had several laws against acid attacks which is treated as a capital offense, and sentenced an attacker to be blinded in 2008.

However, as of July 31, 2011, Ameneh Bahrami pardoned her attacker, thereby absolving Majid Movahedi of his crime and halting the retributive justice of Qisas.

Lower House of Parliament in Pakistan unanimously passed the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill on May 10, 2011. As punishment, according to the bill individuals held responsible for acid throwing face harsh fines and life in prison. Over the past few years, acid throwing has been recognized by many countries as one of the latest and most excruciating forms of violence committed against women.”

2. Section 376 of Indian Penal Code 1860 need to be immediately amendment as the amount of punishment is not enough for raping a girl or women. Presently section 376 provides Punishment for rape.

(1) Whoever, except in the cases provided for by sub- section (2), commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine unless the woman raped is his own wife and is not under twelve years of age, in which case, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both:

1. Ins. by Act 18 of 1924, s. 4. 2. Subs. by Act 43 of 1983, s. 3 for the heading" Of rape" and ss. 375 and 376.

Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than seven years.

(2) Whoever,-

(a) being a police officer commits rape-
(i) Within the limits of the police station to which he is appointed; or
(ii) In the premises of any station house whether or not situated in the police station to which he is appointed; or
(iii) On a woman in his custody or in the custody of a police officer subordinate to him; or
(b) being a public servant, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in his custody as such public servant or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to him; or
(c) being on the management or on the staff of a jail, remand home or other place of custody established by or under any law for the time being in force or of a women’s or children' s institution takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on any inmate of such jail, remand home, place or institution; or
(d) being on the management or on the staff of a hospital, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in that hospital; or
(e) Commits rape on a woman knowing her to be pregnant; or
(f) Commits rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age; or
(g) commits gang rape, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may be for life and shall also be liable to fine: Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of either description for a term of less than ten years.

Explanation 1. Where a women' s is raped by one or more in a group of persons acting in furtherance of their common intention, each of the persons shall be deemed to have committed gang rape within the meaning of this sub- section. Explanation

Explanation 2. "Women' s or children' s institution" means an institution, whether called and orphanage or a home for neglected women or children or a widows' home or by any other name, which is established and maintained for the reception and care of women or children. Explanation

Explanation 3." hospital" means the precincts of the hospital and includes the precincts of any institution for the reception and treatment of persons during convalescence or of persons requiring medical attention or rehabilitation.” The minimum sentence to be raised to 50 years Rigorous Imprisonment with Huge Amount of Fine and Maximum Sentence awarded is Capital Punishment with fine.

(3) That with immediate effect Fast Track Court and Bench Is to be formed at every level of Judiciary specially dealing with the crime against women in India,

(4) That there should be a provision that no one can misuse the law.

(5) That there should be CCTV Camera installed in every buses which is directly connected to Police Headquarter where if possible special task force is to be organized to monitor the crime against women.

(6) That there should be an increase of Ladies Police stations in every city and villages where girl or women without any hesitation can lodge a complaint against such type of crime and criminals.

(7) Most important is that everything what I am talking about have nothing until and unless the punishment is awarded at higher rate. I am very sorry to say but now a day because of less rate of punishment awarded by the hon’ble Court criminals got the guts to commit the crime more and more.

Sir, I am against such crime and worried it can be happen with anyone, it’s not only about the girl raped in the bus at Delhi, it can be anyone. It’s the truth that our sister’s are not safe in our own country, what’s the point of being developing, developed or the world’s greatest democratic country if our sister, mother, daughter is not safe even in their house.

There is an also immediate amendment needs in the Representation of People Act where it need to be given whoever involved in crime against women is to be disqualified against contesting the elections.

I would like to convey with the help of you my anger as well as my sympathy to the victims of Rape, Acid Attacks and any other act of so called man (coward) who hurts women.

I hope you will take the consent of this letter and implement the stronger law in country, with the help of educate our sisters towards their right. They are not an accused they are victim.

Thanks You,

Regards,

Siddhartha Mishra

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