The Haryana government on 27th feb 2018 decided to make more stringent existing criminal laws related to sexual offences against women and children.
The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar decided to make amendments to Sections 376A, 376D, 354 and 354 D(2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Provisions of amendment legislations:
- “In case of rape or gang rape of a girl below 12 years of age, there will be a punishment of death or rigorous imprisonment of not less than 14 years which may extend to imprisonment for life — that is for remainder period of person’s natural life
- According to the section introduced under 376AA of the IPC, whoever commits rape on a girl up to 12 years of age will be punished with death or rigorous imprisonment for a term which will not be less than 14 years, but which may extend to imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life and will also be liable to fine.
Another provision made under Section 376D A of IPC, where a girl up to 12 years of age is raped by one or more persons constituting a group or acting in furtherance of a common intention, each of those persons shall be deemed to have committed the offence of rape and will be punished with death or rigorous imprisonment for a term which will not be less than 20 years, but which may extend to life which will mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and with fine.
- Such a fine shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim.
- Any fine imposed under this section will be paid to the victim
- Apart from this, the Cabinet decided that under Section 354 of the IPC, whoever assaults or uses criminal force on a woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which will not be less than two years but may extend up to seven years and shall also liable to fine.
Besides, under section 354D (2) of the IPC, whoever commits the offence or stalking will be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also liable to fine; and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which will not be less than three years, but may extend to seven years and will also be liable to fine, the Cabinet decided.
.Constitutional Safeguards for Women:
- The Preamble to the Constitution of India promises "to secure to all its citizens Justice-social, economic and political; Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; Equality of 'status and of opportunity'; and to promote among them all; Fraternity - assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation".
- Constitution guarantees certain fundamental rights and freedoms, e.g. freedom of speech, protection of life and personal liberty, etc
- Equality of opportunities in public employment and office under the State is guaranteed by Article 16.
- Article 39 holds out the promise of an equal right to "adequate means of livelihood", "equal pay for equal work", "protection of health and strength of workers - men, women and children - from abuse and entry into avocations unsuited to their age and strength".
- Just and humane conditions of work and the provision of maternity relief are directed by Article 42.