The Justice Verma committee was appointed to recommend amendments in Law in view of the Delhi rape crime. In response to their call for open suggestion request to the public, we consulted with a variety of people including social activists, honest police personnel, lawyers, doctors, teachers, honest young politicians etc. and sent it to JVC from a common forum called Safenation4Women.Please read it and support if you concur to make our's a safer nation for women. The support for this petition would be presented to honourable JVC to reinforce our views.
------ Published on behalf of Safenation4women@gmail.com ----------
Punishments for Rape:
1) Depending upon the gravity of the crime the judge may, with valid and reasonable justification, sentence death penalty to the offender.
*Note: The above point is to ensure that, in the occurrence of very gruesome rape which could identified as a horrible blackmark for the entire human race, that the judge finds a death penalty can be given, then death sentence should not be an out-of-option or no-provision for the judge. While considering victims like Aruna shanbaug, for whom the court allowed to withdraw providing supplements to her, though not directly approving mercy-killing and the offender could not be given more than few years of imprisonment; it is strange that time had made our legal system to let the victim die but not the offender.
2) Allow first time rapists to voluntarily undergo chemical castration therapy periodically in return for reduced sentences upto one year. For repetitive offenders periodic chemical castration must be made compulsory.
*Note: It is to be noted that chemical castration is just a medical therapy that reduces the testosterone level temporarily in a man thereby bringing down the sexual urge for that period, that motivates rape or any sexual assault
3) Rape shall have minimum punishment of
a)Ten years of rigorous imprisonment which can be extended upto life imprisonment, where the offender is a person unknown to the victim or to her family; and the offender is not a public servant or police officer or medical staff trying to misuse his authority to perform the crime or seemingly puts the victim to an understanding that he has such a power that can be misused while committing the crime.
b) Twelve years of rigorous imprisonment which can be extended upto life imprisonment, where the offender is a person already well known to the victim or a relative or somebody known to her family; or the offender is a public servant or police officer or medical staff trying to misuse his authority to perform the crime or seemingly puts the victim to an understanding that he has such a power that can be misused while committing the crime.In the case of a gang rape or an attempt to gang rape, whether it is pre-planned or organized or spontaneous, any person proven to be abetting the crime shall be deemed as a offender, and not just as an accomplice to crime, irrespective of the gender the person, with an exception to sentence of chemical castration.
Eve Teasing: We suggest to take up the Tamilnadu prohibition of Eve teasing Act 1998, as a model to amend IPC509. We also recommend to enact this law in a national level.
#Amendments of existing IPCs and new definitions/clarity:
Make the sections related to women safety (like 354 IPC) as non-bailable.
Assault or criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty: Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or humiliate her, in a sexual manner or knowing it to be likely that he will there by outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, and with fine that would deem to be a fair remediation to the victim
# Inclusion of New crimes under IPC:
Add a crime called attempted rape similar to attempted murder.
Attempt Rape : Any action performed by a person with an intention of commiting a sexual intercourse that might be termed as a Rape, but failed to achieve penetration. It would have minimum punishment of:
a) five years of rigorous imprisonment which can be extended upto life imprisonment, where the offender is a person unknown to the victim or to her family; and the offender is not a public servant or police officer or medical staff trying to misuse his authority to perform the crime or seemingly puts the victim
to an understanding that he has such a power that can be misused while committing the crime.
b) Seven years of rigorous imprisonment which can be extended upto life imprisonment, where the offender is a person already well known to the victim or a relative or somebody known to her family; or the offender is a public servant or police officer or medical staff trying to misuse his authority to perform the crime or seemingly puts the victim to an understanding that he has such a power that can be misused while committing the crime.
Stalking (add it in IPC 509) : Stalking is an unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include, but not limited to, following the victim in person or by any other means and monitoring them using any method.
Any offensive material or content in internet or print or electronic or any other medium which intend to harass the women sexually should be added to IPC 509
Eve Teasing : Refer to Tamilnadu prohibition of Eve teasing Act 1998
Marital rape and rape on sex workers should be defined.
#Removal of outdated legal phrases from IPC:
Remove the clause “Exception.- Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.” From IPC 375
#Changes in various stages of existing legal procedures:
Any police personnel should be sufficiently trained in dealing with Rape or attempt rape victims.
Interrogation shall be done by female officers.
Establishment of special women safety units in every district, headed by specially trained police officers
Special protection officers and qualified counselors shall be present during the time of investigation and help the victim in reducing her trauma.
2) Evidence collection
As said in the Indian evidence act of 1872 Sec 114A the statement of concerned can be taken as a primary evidence.
Any doctor attending a rape victim must not only treat her but also collect the essential evidences and report to the police that a rape did occur, failing which, the doctor and the hospital should be penalized for negligence of duty.
The past sexual behavior of a victim disqualifies to be an evidence against the victim and the past crimes of the defendant shall be considered as evidence.
The victim’s injury and the presence of semen should not be the only mandatory evidence as these evidences disappear, due to the delay in reporting by the victim due to fear/shame/embarrassment/pressure or any other reason.
The degree of resistance put forth by the victim shall not require any evidence other than the statement of the victim herself.
3) Court procedures
There shall be a separate women issues court that takes up issues related to sexual crimes on women. In video procedures shall be followed.
If the victim prefers her own lawyer, the victim’s lawyer shall be given equal importance as a public prosecutor and should not be treat as a mere advisor on the trial.
The cross examination of the witness and the victim should be done with utmost decency.
The trial should be finished within a year, failing which the reason should be recorded by the judge in written and made available for the public. In case of repeated adjournments, due to the delay of defendant(s), then the defendants shall be remanded until the completion of the case.
In all rape trials, anonymity of the victim must be maintained in the media, failing which the media has to be penalized severely.
It is necessary to setup Criminal Injuries Compensation Board with regard to the Directive Principles contained under Article. 38(1) of the Constitution of India as some victims also incur Substantial losses.
Compensation for the victims shall be awarded by the Court on the conviction of the offender and by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The Board will take into account pain, suffering, shock as well as loss of earnings due to pregnancy and child birth if this accrued as a result of rape.
The National Commission for Women be asked to frame schemes for compensation and rehabilitation to ensure justice to the victims of such crimes.
We hope that these recommendations are considered and applied in the best way possible for the best of the women of our nation.