There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a great revolution in the
history of women. Unfortunately, women in this country are mostly unaware of
their rights because of illiteracy and the oppressive tradition. Crime against
women is a worldwide epidemic.
The sociologists had described the women by propounding different perceptions.
The era when Women were treated and respected on par with goddesses is bygone.
The gradual evolution of the patriarchal mindset developed during post Vedic
period coupled with the introduction of the rigid caste system rapidly
denigrated the status of women. The multi-cultured society has placed the women
at different positions. Thus, there is no uniform status of women in Indian
society. However, civilization showed the overall upliftment of women's
Despite the constitutional provisions and safeguard provided for women, crime
against women continues unabated in our country, both inside and outside our
home. Women are often terrorized so that they do not assert their rights.
Position of women has gone through drastic change in the context of Indian
history. Society has been emphasized with the changing of image of women and its
impact on the modern society.
Tracing back from history, women has gone through a very difficult and different
experiences at different times. In the society there patriarchal system was in
trend, it was difficult to adopt the matriarchal system which promoted the
dignity of women and provides status to it.
According to historian Romilla Thaper-
within the Indian sub-continent there have been infinite variations on the
status of women diverging according to cultural malices, family structure,
class, caste property rights and morals.
Position Of Women In Pre- Independence Period
The position of women has considerably put an impact on sociological change.
The period thereto is divided in three aspects:
- Vedic Period – The position of women during the Vedic period was
glorious on account of freedom and equality. During this period, the women
participated in every walk of life. Women studied in Gurukuls and enjoyed
liberty in every sphere.
They acquired efficiency in art, music and even warfare. The wife has been
called the root of prosperity, enjoyment and dharma in Mahabharata. There
was absence of Pardah system.
- Post Vedic Period – The women had suffered drastic hardships and
restrictions as propounded by Manu. He attempted to set up male dominated
society by increasing the authority of man. The birth of a girl child was
treated as a disaster for the family. Girls were denied access to education.
- Medieval Period – The women's position was further degraded during the
medieval period with invasions of India by Alexander and the Huns. Society
observed security threats with invading soldiers roaming countryside;
consequently, women were placed behind the veil.
- Women's position during the British Period
The British period has undergone through the impact of change. Due to the
western impact on the Indian socio-cultural pattern. The concept of
equality, liberty and individual secularism, although, arose but limited to
Two major movements took place during British period. These are:
- Social Reforms Movement – this emerged in 19th century and raised the
question of equal status of women. Social problems showed their concern on
sati, prohibition of re- marriage, denial of right to property, child
marriage and education to women. Swami Vivekananda, Dayanand Saraswati and
Annie Besant were of opinion that old Vedic period should be revived which
was ideal for women's opinion that old Vedic period should be revived which
was ideal for women's status.
- National Movement – the movement drew the attention of a large number of
people and generated confidence among women to raise their voice against
It is submitted that during the British period awareness was created while
women's political and social participation attained momentum.
Types Of Crime Against Women
Crime has gained so much of social impact that on regular basis, many crimes are
reported against women in different areas. The meaning and scope of domestic
violence against women could aptly be clear from a glance at criminal law and
civil law which address the offence as to domestic violence against women to
Criminal law has given a wide interpretation to crime against women. Sections
listed thereto have defined crime against women in its various forms and
punishments in context to it. Some of them are listed below.
Sexual Harassment Of Working Women At Work Place
The sexual harassment of women particularly the working women at work place
by their male counterparts is one of the evils of the modern society. In India,
there is no one is capable to combat this evil of the sexual harassment of
for this purpose, sexual harassment includes such unwelcome
sexually determined behavior ( whether directly or by implication ) as:
- physical contact and advances;
- a demand or request for sexual favors;
- sexually colored remarks;
- showing pornography;
- any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual
Domestic Violence Against Women
It connotes any act or conduct which has potential to injure or hurt women –
physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and also spiritually within the four
walls of house, however, such an act or conduct is done usually not by
According to section 304-B IPC where death of a married woman is caused by
any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances
within seven years of marriage and if it is established that soon before her
death she was subjected to cruelty by her husband or his relatives, such death
of a married woman is treated as dowry death.
When Women Is Driven To Commit Suicide
If any person under eighteen years of age, any insane person, any delirious
person, any idiot, or any person in a state of intoxication, commits suicide,
whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with death or [
imprisonment for life], or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years
and shall also be liable to fine.
On account of domestic violence specially brides are subjected to harassment for
demand of dowry and compelled to commit suicide. Abetment of suicide of a
disordered mental state of person is an offence punishable with death or 10
years of life imprisonment as under section 305 and 306 of IPC.
Causing Hurt And Grevious Hurt
It is common form of domestic violence. Section 319 of the Penal Code defines
the expression hurt, as causing bodily pain, injury, infirmity and disease to
any person, however, serious hurt is termed as grievous hurt under section 339
and 340 of the Indian Penal Code.
Forceful Termination Of Pregnancy Amounts To Violence At Home
In the view of section 313 ( causing miscarriage without woman's consent), 314
( Death caused by act done with intent to cause miscarriage), 315 ( Act done
with intent to prevent child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth)
and 316 ( Causing death of quick unborn child by act amounting to culpable
homicide) of IPC female infanticide or forcing the wife to terminate her
pregnancy are also varieties of domestic violence which is recognized as an
offence under the penal code.
It is also one of the forms of domestic violence. When a woman's movement is
restrained or confined within the four walls of house. It is a common form of
domestic violence which is an offence punishable under sections 339 ( whoever
voluntarily obstructs any person so as to prevent that person from proceeding in
any direction in which that person has a right to proceed is said wrongfully to
restrain that person) and 340 ( whoever wrongfully restrains any person in such
a manner as to prevent that person from proceedings beyond certain
circumscribing limits is said wrongfully to confine that person ) of the Indian
A man is said to commit rape if he:
- penetrates his penis, to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or
anus of a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or
- inserts, to any extent, any object or a part of the body, not being the
penis, into the vagina, the urethra or anus of a woman or makes her to do so
with him or any other person; or
- manipulates any part of the body of a woman so as to cause penetration
into the vagina, urethra, anus or any part of body of such woman r makes her
to do so with him or any other person; or
- applies his mouth to the vagina, anus, urethra f a woman or makes her to
do so with him or any other person, under the circumstances falling under
any of the following seven description:
- against her will
- without her consent
- with her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or
any other person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
- 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.
- 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
- With or without her consent, when she is under eighteen years of age.
- When she is unable to communicate consent.
Civil law has also initiated in protecting the crime against women and
interpreting laws accordingly. Women is placed at the stage where she needs
justification regards to settlement of laws and securing her rights in the
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
According to Section 13(1) (a) of the act, 1955, Any marriage solemnized,
whether before of after the commencement of this act, may, on a petition
presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce
on the ground that the other party [has, after the solemnization of the
marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty;]. Cruelty is a legal ground for
divorce. Though the term cruelty has not been defined under the said act but
it is taken to mean acts of physical as well as mental cruelty. Section 10 of
the act provides relief as to judicial separation, so the wife can get rid of
her husband's abuses by living separately under the order of the court.
The Dissolution Of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939
According to section 2 (viii) of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939
- Habitually offending the wife or ill treating her.
- Forcing wife to lead immoral life.
- Disposing of wife's property without obtaining her consent
- Not allowing her to observe religious practice.
Under the aforesaid act the victim of violence at home can seek divorce on the
ground of cruelty.
Various authors have propounded the definition of crime which are listed below.
According to Kenny, crime is wrong whose sanction is punitive.
According to Bentham, offences are whatever the legislature has prohibited
If the question relates to a theoretical research for the discovery of the best
possible laws according to the principles laws according to the principles of
utility, we give the name of offence to every act which we think ought to be
prohibited by reasons of some evil which it produces or tends to produce.
According to Blackstone, crime is an act done in violation of public
rights. Generally crime is more than an act of mere disobedience to law. It is
an act which is both forbidden by law and revolting to the moral sentiments of
society. Various authors have propounded definitions of crime. Crime is defined
as an act punishable by law as forbidden by statute or injurious or injurious
to public welfare is a crime. In modern complex, society things may be
against the public welfare. Selling contaminated food, molestation of young
children or women in railway trains and misleading advertisements may all the
said to injurious to public welfare.
The United Nations define crime against women as any act of gender-based
violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or
psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts,
coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in
private life .The semantic meaning of crime against women is direct or indirect
physical or mental cruelty to women. Crimes which are directed specially against
women and in which only women are victims are characterized as Crime Against
Women. It is equally important to clarify the concept of violence against women.
Violence is also known as abuse and include any sort of physical aggression or
misbehavior. According to encyclopedia of Crime and justice, in a broad
sense, violence is a general term referring to all types of behavior either
threatened or actual, the result in the damage or destruction of property or
injury or death of an individual. According to Black's law dictionary,
violence means unjust or unwarranted use of force usually accompanied by fury,
vehemence, or outrage, physical force unlawfully exercised with the intent to
Sutherland characterizes, crime as a symptom of social disorganization. Modern
sociological penologists treats crime as a social phenomenon, which receives
disapprobation of the society
Halsbury defines crime as an unlawful act, which is an offence against the
public and the perpetrator of that act is liable to legal punishment.
Donald taft defines crime is a social injury and an expression of subjective
opinion varying in time and place.
For the definition of women, The Indian Penal Code has defined women as female
human being of any age.
Sociological Aspect Of Law And Women
The Supreme Court as observed in Madhu Krishnan v. state of Bihar
form half of the Indian population. Women have always been discriminated against
men and have suffered denial and are suffering discrimination in silence. Women
play an important role in the process of society's development in many phases.
As India strives towards equal rights, a change in the perceptions of men and
women is needed to reduce gender disparity. Statistics pertaining to crime
against women have been comprehensively recorded and collated by the National
Crimes Records Bureau under various headlines such as trafficking, dowry deaths
These statistics are alarming. It is imperative for all Indians to
tackle these problems and improve initiatives and legislation that empower women
and girls. From one to the other, it covers wide interpretation regarding the
status of women in India. Social norms and culture also play a part in
influencing a woman's mobility because some of the cultural beliefs do not
support the idea of women going out of their homes to feed themselves and their
The problem of underestimation of crime against women is
compounded by failure of justice system of the country in securing justice. The
amendments made to criminal law are not comprehensive. Apart from such generally
applicable laws, many women were in a position of legal dependence as a result
of their particular situation, being in youth, poverty or enslavement.
We live in a society where women particularly young women and girls are kept
under tight control in both urban and rural settings, discouraging them from
opening up about sexual abuse at home or at work. One particular problem being
that the range of extremely violent crimes against women is large and the
official categories are unbelievably foul. No doubt society involves group of
people living together and no study can be done leaving a group in the society.
This research will primarily focus on Illiterate women as being the core part
and essential for the study of crime against women. India ranked poorly at
global level in Gender inequality Index (GII) having 129th position out of 145
countries surveyed. A G-20 survey has ranked India as the worst place for a
The National crime records bureau shows that a crime is committed against
a woman every third minute, a woman is raped every 29th minute, a dowry death
occurs every 77th minute and one case of cruelty, committed by either the
husband or relative of the victim, every ninth minute.
In India women education never got its due share of attention. From the medieval
India women were debarred from the educational field. According to medieval
perception women needs just household education and this perception of Medieval
India still persists in villages of India even today. Girls are supposed to
fulfill domestic duties and education becomes secondary for them whereas it is
considered to be important for boys.
The people of villages consider girls to be
curse and they do not want to waste money on their education and time on them as
they think that women should be wedded off as soon as possible. The main reason
behind this is their economic inability. The lack of education is root cause for
so many problems. An uneducated women cannot understand the things and gather
knowledge of being protective in eyes of law.
With spread of education and social advancements, women should be given status
in society so as the ill element to illiteracy can be set away. The condition
being that women are just places in four walls and are not given chance to groom
and develop themselves according to the need of hour.
The widespread of thinking
of rural areas has not led their girls and women to come out and learn. They
wanted them to learn household works and then marry them at a very younger age.
This tradition which is followed by ages has still hindered society in many
aspects and has not led women to come out and learn.
No doubt the government in
every state has considerably and is giving focus and ideas as to how women can
be secured and provide literacy to it but this cannot by possible without the
efforts of the society also. The position of Indian women has not been better
compared to their counter parts in the world.
Traditionally the women is
foundation stone of the family and society in general. She creates life,
nurtures it, guards it and strengthen it. Being the supreme law of nation, the
constitution of India prohibits any discrimination solely based on the ground of
sex in general and in matter of public employment. The prohibition of gender
based discrimination has been given the status of a fundamental right.
The universality of crime against women and its repercussions, not only for
women's development and empowerment, but for society as a whole necessitates the
intervention of state, civil society and the legal mechanism for alleviating the
problem. Law plays a significant role in eradicating the crime against women and
reconstructing their identities but lacks on its strong implementation. As
Martin Luther King observed law cannot change hearts but can restrain the
heartless. The legal edifice effectively affirms and promotes principles of
equity and equality of women.
Supreme Court in Air India v. Nagesh Meerza
 has held that a woman shall not
be denied employment merely on the ground that she is a woman as it amounts to
violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. The apex court in Suchita
Srivastava & Another v. Chandigarh Administration
, observed that a
woman's right to make reproductive choice is also a dimension of personal liberty
under Article 21 of the constitution of India, 1950.
In Parvathi and karthikeyan
(2002), according to him education plays an important role as a means of human
resource development. Education is the greatest force for empowerment.
Empowerment can only be acquired through knowledge. Smt. Sushila Kaushik, she
throws light on the different issues responsible for women's achievement as well
as pitfalls. She states that even if the funds and credits are available to the
women, one should see whether they are available to women.
The opposition needs
to realize that law works on the principle of Checks and Balances, therefore
when a woman has a certain right, there needs to be a provision for its
safeguard. The mere problem of the society is that when they find any crime
happening against women the society blindfold itself just to avoid deteriorating
the reputation of the victim. Maybe the legal system has decided to abandon the
objectives of protecting women against crime.
The evidence is everywhere; the
voice of women is increasingly heard in Parliament, courts and in the streets.
Unfortunately, women in this country are mostly unaware of their rights because
of illiteracy and the oppressive tradition. There is no doubt that we are in the
midst of revolution in the history of women. Over 32000 Murders, 19000 rapes,
7500 dowry deaths and 36500 molestation cases are the violent crimes reported in
India in 2006 against women.
These are figures released by the National Crime
Records Bureau recently. The 21st century women in India has vulnerable to
anti-social elements despite tremendous strides in technological advancements
posing a serious challenge to the Indian diaspora.
The Indian sub-continent is a glaring witness to the innumerable foreign
invasions over centuries which resulted in the diverse mix of cultures and
traditions under different times of alien rule. The ancient concept of pativrata
(virtuous wife) still holds good among the mainstream Indian Society. The modern
slogan of protecting women seems to be Paternalistic and patronizing attitude,
the need of hour is Equitable Access to both men and women.
The issue of safety
of women cannot be seen in isolation. The judiciary, the society and the media
together can play an active role in guaranteeing Indian women the safety they
deserve. Media can be utilized in campaigning for women's right and education
and the importance of feminism. In State of Maharashtra v. M.N. Mardikar
it was held that the Right of Privacy is included in right to live as guaranteed
by Article 21 of the constitution and a woman of easy virtue is entitled to
privacy as and when she likes. She is fully entitled to protect her person if an
attempt is made to violate it against her wish.
It is the duty of law enforcement agencies to prevent crime against women but
they fail to solve the scourge alone. Teamwork by people is the key eradicating
this menace. People must come forward to help in rooting out such social evils.
Law enforcing agencies cannot work alone.
When the people are dynamic in their drive against crime, the police cannot
remain a mute spectator though they are supposed to be the protectors of
citizens. They will be forced to dispense their bounden duty. Youth should be
motivated to be socially responsible and protect women. This is the need of the
hour. Everyone must think of changing society. In India, women are devalued
traditionally and the men are normative reified. According to Hindu Mythology,
the word Ardhanarishvara
meaning the Lord whose
half is woman
. What is the value of a man without woman?
We shouldn't forget
that woman is root of our society. 65% of Indian men believe women should
tolerate violence in order to keep the family together, and women sometimes
deserve to be beaten. The combat violence and other abuses against women, Telangana police have established SHE TEAMS to focus on the safety of women.
Feminist activism in India gained momentum in the late 1970's. One of the first
national level issues that brought women's groups together was the Mathura rape
. The acquittal of police men accused of raping a young girl Mathura in
police station led to country wide protests in 1979 – 1980.
The protests widely
covered by the national media, forced the government to amend the evidence act,
the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code and created a new offence,
In 2018, a survey by Thomson Reuters Foundation termed India
as the World's most dangerous country for women due to high risk of sexual
violence. Although National Commission for women rejected the report stating
that the sample size was small in number of people surveyed and could in no way
reflect the state of affairs in a country of 1.3 billion people. National
commission for women also pointed out that there could be no doubt that India is
far ahead of a number of country in terms of Rights of women.
The survey was
similarly rejected by the centre for study of Developing Societies on the
grounds that it lacked transparency with respect to sample size and selection
bias.  Crime against women in India has an evidentiary value which indicates
that strategies to improve reporting are probable working.
that the opening of all women police stations increases reported crime against
women by 22%. Until India becomes a full reporting country, rising rates of
crime against women might be indicative of better reporting. In urban and
rural areas of study, the women were of varying ages, had varying results with
levels of literacy.
In particular to crime against women with special reference to illiterate women
have more prevalent results. Although the rates of domestic violence are similar
across both rural and urban areas, studies from USA indicates that rural
communities receive limited access to services, including lower education and
literacy rates, higher isolation and poverty rates. Education increases autonomy
and more importantly empowerment, social or economic.
Women have always been
treated as an object of gross and severe violence at the hands of women. The
biological weakness is the key factor behind making a woman weak and to become
an easy prey particularly to physical domination. Even today, in the penultimate
decade of 21st century, women are not being allowed to live successfully the
life of a human being. Literacy is the key to social and economic progress.
challenge across the justice chain for women in conflict with law, women
especially may suffer from illiteracy and lack of necessary knowledge. In spite
of having so many enactments, amendments and various form of laws dealing with
women and judgments of Supreme Court protecting women the downtrodden and poor
conditions of women has not been improved and she still faces all type of
atrocities and legislature and judiciary some what fails to provide respect to
women in society.
Illiteracy has resulted into various social evils which harass women in one way
or the other. No doubt government has taken many initiatives to educate girl
child but this practice is not brought up by the rural areas specially as they
believe in child marriage and engaging girls in household tasks. Literate women
are more aware about their rights and laws associated with crime against them
but the problem is with the illiterate ones. They are not substantially aware
about what are laws and what is the procedure which can be followed to secure
Making aware the ones who are already aware is not a matter of
spreading awareness among society rather the focus should be on the area which
is unaware i.e. the rural women or women living in remote areas. In this context
crime against illiterate women are reported more than the literate ones. The
reason lies in the statement itself.
Prof. (Dr.) K.D. Gaur's Textbook on the Indian Penal Code
has made an in depth
study on various sections related to crime against woman with latest case laws
and the need of amendment of Indian Penal Code, 1860 with the Criminal amendment
act, 2013. The author with the selected commentary and latest case laws has
explained the sections related to crime against woman. The author's book has
termed to be classic in the filed of criminal law.
Mamta Rao in his book
Law relating to women and children
has discussed the law relating to woman and
children. The author has highlighted the treatment given to women during ages
and how the government can provide woman equal status to man. Supreme court
in Dr. N.G. Dastane v. Mrs S. Dastane
, has referred to the aspect of
cruelty as to what is cruelty. Crime against women is also found to be varying.
Its variations depends upon many factors like illiteracy, economic development,
socialization, social control etc.
Sushma (1990) gives a collection of articles in which she tried to examine
various atrocities against women like bride burning, dowry, wife battering,
sati, divorce, domestic violence, and also crime against aged women in the
society. She found that women have been socially, economically, physically,
sexually exploited in India since long sometimes in the name of tradition,
sometimes in the pretext of writings in scriptures and sometimes by social
Mishra Jyotsana(2000) stated that violence affects the lives of millions of
women worldwide in all socio legal analysis. It cuts across religious and
cultural barriers, impeding to participate the women in the society. Raising
awareness in the society and educating men and boys to view women's valuable
partner' life for that development of society and for attainment of peace are
just important as taking legal steps to protect women' human rights.
Roy (2000) violence against women continues unabated in our country, both
inside and outside the home despite legal safeguards provided to women. Women
are often terrorized not to access their rights. Violence against women shows
itself as rape attack, stripping, eve prodding, abduction and so forth. Although
violence against women is globally difficult it is yet to be acknowledged as an
issue of human rights violence.
Kushwaha (2003) is of the view that inter disciplinary and multi dimensional
character of women is of crucial importance because of their vital contribution
in the development. After realizing the crucial role of women it is desirable to
great extent for all round development as providing education and jobs in the
field of research in the segment of population.
Forming opinions about the study , we come through two opinions about the need
of stringent laws, sensitive judiciary, effective law and enforcement machinery
and vigilant women's groups to deal with such atrocious crime against women. But
what is needed more than anything else is a total revolution in the thinking of
society that always blame women for the crime of which she is the victim, not
the perpetrator. The problem of crime has root cause in a sociological- economic
order that is heavily biased against women.
The legislature has used the definition of gender, the pronoun he and its
derivatives are used of any person whether male or female. The word has been
used intentionally by the legislature meaning the concept of Equality
but if we talk about the practical aspect, it seems legislature has itself
forgot to contrast a line between the perspectives of male and female.
New Dimensions In Law For Women Empowerment
Dimensions covers multi- disciplinary as it covers the era after Independence.
The core purposes cover Economic, Social and Political perspective.
Alleviation programmers started covering the perspective of women as they were
economically more disadvantaged then men and as their upbringing and
mainstreaming are critical to economic development of a nation. It generally
tries to enable women to learn its originating impact in the society. Economic
area tries to covers the entire wide scenario by removing all the financial
barriers in respect of gender biasness. Rural women have less access to economic
resources to generate incomes. Various studies of intra house hold resources
allocation indicates that in many regions there exists a strong bias against
women in areas such as nutrition, medical care, education and inheritance.
Economic empowerment is necessary to enable women to seek Justice and Equality.
It enables in providing Right to Equality as it is primarily very necessary to
provide dignity to every individual in the society especially irrespective of
Gender. The approach to gender equity is based on the recognition that all
interventions related to women and also ensure participation and adequate
representation of women at different policy levels. The vision of 11th policy
plan (2007-2012) is to ensure that every woman in the country is able to develop
its potential and share the benefits of growth and prosperity through a
participatory approach which empowers them and makes them partners in their own
Women have sustained their rights through political agendas and election
manifestos but in actual it is only a myth. Every citizen irrespective of Gender
has some Rights and Duties towards the nation which shall be done irrespective
of society's impact such as Right to vote, Right to Contest, Right to form
organizations etc. Reserving seats for women in political institutions will
provide them better form by participating in various political programmers. By
far the number of women getting elected to representative body has been steadily
increasing. No doubt today, the present scenario defines the picture of Women
in a different way but subject to exceptions, women have never been safeguarded
to its rights and dignity in the society.
Our makers of Constitution found it necessary to formulate laws irrespective of
gender injustice. Hence they opinioned that laws should be of such a nature
which focuses on society and its needs.
The preamble is the key to constitution. It does not discriminate men and women
but it treats them alike. The framers of the constitution were well aware of the
unequal treatment meted out to the fair sex, from the time immemorial. In India,
the history of suppression of women is very old and long which is responsible
for including general and special provisions for upliftment and development of
the status of women. Certain provisions are specifically designed for the
benefit of women. Undoubtedly, the preamble appended to the Constitution of
India, 1950 contains various objectives including the equality of status and
to all citizens. This objective has been inserted with the view to
give equal status to men and women in terms of the opportunity.
Part III of the Constitution of India deals with the fundamental rights. The
provisions regarding fundamental rights have been enshrined in Articles 12 to
35, which are applicable to all citizens irrespective of sex. Article 14 in the
Constitution ensures equality in political, economic and social spheres.
However, certain provisions protect the rights of women.
According to Article 15(3) of the Constitution, discrimination on grounds of
religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth shall not prevent the state from
making any special provisions for women and children. Article 15(1) prohibits
gender discrimination. Article 15(3) lifts that ignominy and permits the state
to positively discriminate in favor of women to make special provisions to
ameliorate their social, economic and political conditions and accord them
parity. Article 15(3) of the constitution makes special provisions for women
and children. It empowered the state to make special legislation in this regard.
The courts have always approved the validity of such special legislation rather
These women and children oriented beneficial legislation can
be seen in the ambit of the Criminal Law.
- Right to equality ( articles 14 and 15 of the constitution
- Right to freedom ( articles 19 to 22)
- Right against exploitation ( articles 23 & 24)
- Right to freedom of religion ( articles 25 to 28)
- Cultural and education rights ( articles 29 & 30)
- Right to constitutional remedies ( articles 32 to 35)
Directive Principles Of State Policy And Women
Under the constitution of India, 1950 the directive principles of State policy
is the reflection of governance that India is a welfare democratic state. This
policy envisaged equal rights to work, equal pay for equal work, adequate means
of decent and dignified livelihood to both men and women, these are guaranteed
under the directive principles of state policy. Part IV of the constitution
containing Articles 38, 39 (a) (d) and (e), 42, 44 and 45 deal with the welfare
and development of women.
According to Article 39(a) the state should direct its
policy towards securing that the citizens, men and women equally have the right
to an adequate means of livelihood. As per Article 39(d) of the Constitution in
the states that there should be equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
Thus, the state is under Constitutional obligation to direct its policy towards
securing that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
The apex court in Suchita Srivastava & Another v. Chandigarh Administration
observed that a woman's right to make reproductive choice is also a dimension of
personal liberty under Article 21 of the constitution of India, 1950.
In Randhir Singh V. Union of India
, has expressed the opinion that the principle
of equal work is not declared in the constitution to be a fundamental right but
it is certainly a constitutional goal. Though there are so many laws are present
in the statute but this are kept in pen and paper. The beast of our society done
this crime very rampant way.
Significance Of Study
The study of Crime Against Women With Special Reference To Illiterate Women
socially impact the society and bring out the reasons that why the crimes are
being committed against women. What circumstances has led behind the commission
of crime. What impact does it throw in the light of modernized world 21st
There is a need of a policy to bring about the advancements,
development and empowerment of women. Institutions and mechanisms for assistance
are lacking to create and strengthen for prevention of such violence and for
taking effective action against the perpetrators of such violence. The feminist
jurisprudence within the broad framework of gender injustice has always been an
alarming element to the society's growth and change.
Women and law are so interconnected that there exist some heated questions and
critical challenges the social institutions by providing detailed evidence of
important cases, judicial precedents, trails, etc. protection of Rights of women
are considered as an integral part of HUMAN RIGHTS. To make law keep its
promise, it behaves on the judiciary to help actualization of statutory
In Neelam Mahajan Singh v. commissioner of police
, the question
on balance between freedom of speech and expression and public decency it was
held that there is no need to bowdlerize all literate and thus rob speech and
expression. A balance should be made between the two. Concerning to provide ease
of access to rights in order to eliminate all obstacles is the way of
administration of justice is need of hour to women. Efforts for structural
transformation of gender hierarchies target women discrimination as only women
On one side we talk about providing equality women and men and on the other hand
we talk about how there exist difference between men and women. The essence
itself is homogenous. Deprivation, discrimination and atrocities are the three
parameters which in context shows how the women is being effected in the
The core area of the research would mainly focus on the women living in slums,
backward areas being villages, so that a contrast could be varied in term of
what are the gap behind the modernized 21st century and the ones being unaware
of what ill-elements are originating the society.
The need to incorporate women issues has considerably essential in this
modernized society. India being Asian regions develops a significant position in
terms of quantity and diversity of women laws and studies. Hence, the study will
lay more impact on reforms required to be done to protect women against crime
with special reference to illiterate ones.
The Indian law prior to the Nirbhaya Incident took into account only acts of
penile-vaginal intercourse within the definition of rape and forcible acts of
penetration of vagina, mouth, urethra or anus through penis or an inanimate
object did not fall within the definition of rape. Many rapists were not
prosecuted because there was no law to punish such acts. The definition was
expanded in 2013 to consider rape as any acts like penetration by penis, or any
object or any part of body to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or
anus of a woman or making her to do so with another person or applying of mouth
to sexual organs without the consent or will of the woman constitutes the
offence of rape.
The section has also clarified that penetration means "penetration to any
", and lack of physical resistance is immaterial for constituting an
offence. Except in certain aggravated situation the punishment will be
imprisonment not less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for
life, and shall also be liable to fine. In aggravated situations, punishment
will be rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years
but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Indian law lays down
certain provisions for medical examination of the accused. Section 164A of the
Code of Criminal Procedure deals with the medical examination of the victim. The
revised statutes of 2013 Indian law, in section 376A, mandates minimum
punishment in certain cases.
For instance, if the sexual assault inflicts an
injury which causes death or causes the victim to be in a persistent vegetative
state, then the convicted rapist must be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of
at least twenty years and up to the remainder of the natural life or with a
death penalty." In the case of "gang rape", the same mandatory sentencing is now
required by law. The convicted is also required to pay compensation to the
victim which shall be reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation
of the victim, and per Section 357 B in the Code of Criminal Procedure. Death
penalty for the most extreme rape cases is specified.
The 2013 law also increased the age of consent from 16 years to 18 years, and
any sexual activity with anyone less than age of 18, irrespective of consent,
now constitutes statutory rape. The new law has made it mandatory for all
government and privately run hospitals in India to give free first aid and
medical treatment to victims of rape.
As well, in May 2013, the Supreme Court of
India held that the two-finger test on a rape victim violates her right to
privacy, and asked the Delhi government to provide better medical procedures to
confirm sexual assault. On 3 November 2015 the Allahabad High Court observed
that a child born out of rape will have inheritance rights over the property of
the assaulter and will be treated as illegitimate, however if the child is taken
for adoption then he/she will not have any rights on the property of the
Legislative Provisions Of Crimes Against Women
The impoverished status of women is in sharp contrast to an otherwise developing
milieu in which social change does not accompany the rapid modernization
process, The prevalent gender bias being offensive to human dignity and human
rights, has emerged as a fundamental crisis to the world over. Human rights can
be taken as those minimal rights which every individual must have against the
state or other public authority by virtue of his being a member
family, irrespective of any other consideration. Democracy, development, respect
for human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and have mutual
Human rights for illiterate women are therefore an inalienable,
integral and indivisible part of human rights. The full development of
personality, fundamental freedom and equal participation by illiterate women in
political, social, economic and cultural scenarios are commitment for
international as well as national development, social and family stability and
growth- culturally, socially and economically. All forms of discrimination on
grounds of gender are thus, violative of fundamental freedom and human rights.
Gender injustice and insensitiveness manifests itself in the form of
discrimination, crime and violence against illiterate women.
Taking cognizance of this repression all over, the United Nations passed various
instruments which a focus on illiterate women's emancipation and with the object
of enhancing the dignity of illiterate women all over the world. Violence
against women is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality,
development and peace.
The low social and economic status of women can be both a
cause and a consequence of violence against women. Violence against women is a
manifestation of the historically unequal power relations between men and women,
which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to
the prevention of women's full advancement.
Constitutional provisions in India
- Condemn violence against women and refrain from invoking any custom,
tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligations with respect
to its elimination.
- Adopt all appropriate measures, especially in the field of education, to
modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women.
- Provide well-funded shelters and relief support for girls and women
subjected to violence.
Constitutional Provision for Women in India
- Equality before law for women (Article 14)
- The State not to discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of
religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them (Article 15 (I)
- The State to make any special provision in favour of women and children
(Article 15 (3))
- Equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to
employment or appointment to any office under the State (Article 16)
- The State to direct its policy towards securing for men and women
equally the right to an adequate means of livelihood (Article 39(a)) and
equal pay for equal work for both men and women (Article 39(d))
- To promote justice, on a basis of equal opportunity and to provide free
legal aid by suitable legislation or scheme or in any other way to ensure
that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by
reason of economic or other disabilities (Article 39 A)
- The State to make provision for securing just and humane conditions of
work and for maternity relief (Article 42)
- The State to promote with special care the educational and economic
interests of the weaker sections of the people and to protect them from
social injustice and all forms of exploitation (Article 46)
- The State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living of
its people and the improvement of public health (Article 47)
- To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the
people of India and to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women
- Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for
women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the
total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat to
be reserved for women and such seats to be allotted by rotation to different
constituencies in a Panchayat (Article 243 D(3))
- Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for
women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the
total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality
to be reserved for women and such seats to be allotted by rotation to
different constituencies in a Municipality (Article 243 T 3))
A Constitution is a basic document of a country having a special legal sanctity
which sets the framework and the principal functions of the organs of the
Government of a State and declares the principles governing the operation of
these organs. The Constitution aims at creating legal norms, social philosophy
and economic values which ate to be affected by striking synthesis, harmony and
fundamental adjustment between individual rights and social interest to achieve
the desired community goals.1. Preamble
The preamble contains the ideals and aspirations of the people of India. One
of the golden ideals is the equality of status and of opportunity. This
objective has been achieved by and large by providing equality clause in the
Constitution of India. The equality clause expressly prohibits discrimination on
the basis of race, religion, caste, sex, and place of birth and guarantees
equality before the law and equal protection of laws irrespective of race,
religion, cast, sex etc. Thus the Indian Constitution has ensured equal status
to all i.e. not only between men and men, women and women but also between men
and women.163 Constitution of India provide the basic foundation on legislation
and laws built in Article 14, 15, 16, 21, 39 of the Constitution of India.
basic understanding of some of the constitutional guarantees is pertinent to the
subject of equal representation of women in the society.
2. Fundamental Rights
- Political Rights
Notwithstanding the fact that women participated equally in the freedom struggle
and, under the constitution and law, have equal political rights as men,
enabling them to take part effectively in the administration of the country has
had little effect as they are negligibly represented in politics. There were
only seven women member in the Constituent Assembly and the number later
decreased further.There representation in the Lok Sabha is far below the
expected numbers. This has led to the demand for reservation of 33% seats for
women in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas. Political empowerment of women has
been brought by the 73rd and 74th Amendments which reserve seats for women in
Gram Panchayats and Municipal bodies. Illiteracy, lack of political awareness,
physical violence and economic dependence are a few reasons which restrain women
from taking part in the political processes of the country.
Women's Political Participation
The Madhya Pradesh High Court decided a case challenging to the Municipalities
Act, 1961 which was amended in 2007 to increase the reservation for women from
33 to 50 percent in these bodies. The court pointed out that reservation under
articles 15 and 16 was distinct from the reservations under article 243 of the
Constitution. The court pointed out that in case of reservation of posts in
government employment, the notion of horizontal reservation was applicable and
if the requisite number of women had not been selected they would be selected
against their respective social reservation categories as had been pointed out
by the Supreme Court.
Participation in political life and number of children
The Supreme Court decision in Javed v. State of Haryanaupheld the
constitutionality of laws which linked the right to contest election for public
office in panchayats to the number of children a person had. Restricting the
right to contest election to a public office to those with two living children
was seen as a reasonable restriction by the court. This decision clearly
privileged population stabilisation policies over the personal liberty of
citizens, particularly women, who due to patriarchal relations within the
family, are often unable to control the number of children they bear.
- Economic Rights
There has been a catena of legislation conferring equal rights for women and
men. These legislations have been guided by the provisions of the fundamental
rights and Directive Principles of State Policy. Here again there is a total
lack of awareness regarding economic rights amongst women. Laws to improve their
condition in matters relating to wages, maternity benefits, equal remuneration
and property/succession have been enacted to provide to the necessary protection
in these areas.
- Social Justice
The most important step has been codification of the personal laws in our
country which pose the biggest challenge in this context for providing social
justice to women. In the area of criminal justice, the gender neutrality of law
worked to the disadvantage of a woman accused because in some of the cases it
imposed a heavy burden on the prosecutrix, for e.g. in cases of rape and dowry.
They prevent the fulfilment of the objective of securing to each individual
dignity, irrespective of sex, community or place of birth. In this type
discrimination Supreme Court said that- Human rights are derived from the
dignity and worth inherent in the human person.
Human rights and fundamental
freedoms have been reiterated in the Universal declaration of Human Rights.
Democracy, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are
inter-dependent and have mutual reinforcement. The human rights for women,
including girl child are therefore, inalienable, integral and an indivisible
part of universal human rights. The full development of personality and
fundamental freedoms and equal participation by women in political, social,
economic and cultural life are concomitants for national development, social and
family stability and growth-cultural, social and economical. All forms of
discrimination on grounds of gender are violative of fundamental freedoms and
Fundamental Rights which are the most effective of every person like, man, woman
and child because they are applied and enforceable as constitutional and
fundamental rights in India. Justice Bhagwati said that rights are: - These
fundamental rights represent the basic values cherished by the people of this
country since the Vedic times and they are calculated to protect the dignity of
the individual and create conditions in which every human being can develop his
personality to the fullest extent. Thus, fundamental rights are very
important part of the Constitution of India.
Code of Criminal Procedure
- Article 14 ( Equality)
Equality before the law or equal protection by the law, Article 14 of the
Constitution of India enunciates the general principle of right to equality and
prohibits the state from denying to any person. Article 14 of the Constitution
recognises Women as a class. The Court has declared that women as a class were
different from men as a class; and for this legislature had merely removed the
disability attaching to women by passing the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.
Article 15(1) prohibits gender discrimination and Article 15(3) lifts that
rigour and permits the State to positively discriminate in favour of women and
make special provisions to ameliorate their social condition and provide
political, economic and social justice. The State in the field of Criminal Law,
Service Law, Labour Law, etc. has resorted to Article 15(3) and the courts, too,
have upheld the validity of these protective discriminatory provisions on the
basis of constitutional mandate.
In Dr. Punia K. Sodhi v. Union of India, the Delhi High Court had an
occasion to clarify the close connection between sexual harassment and sex-based
discrimination where a lady doctor alleged harassment and discrimination by a
senior male doctor. Another specific example of equality of status is the right
to equality of opportunity for citizens of India provided under Article 16 of
the Constitution of India. The Courts realise Women like men are governed by
the Constitution. Articles 14, 15, 19(1)(g) and 21 provide the basis for
Realizing equality between man and man, and man and woman.
These articles have
provided de jure equality to women, but they have not accelerated de facto
equality between man and woman to the extent the Constitution intended. Unless
attitudes change, elimination of discrimination against women cannot be
achieved. There is still a considerable gap between the constitutional rights
and their application in the day-to-day lives of most women. At the same time,
it is true that women are working in jobs which were hitherto falling in
masculine fields. But there are instances which exhibit lack of confidence in
their capability and efficiency. There is still a long and lingering suspicion
regarding their capacity to meet the challenges of the jobs assigned to them.
Such doubts affect the dignity of working women.
- Article 21 (Right to livelihood)
A very sensitive case for right to livelihood because every person who take
breath, his duty to protect own live. Problem of bar girls at Maharashtra before
the High court Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association; this case decided.
Petitioner has pleaded that its members have three different activities in their
respective establishments which are independent of each other:- Service of food,
performance of music and dance, and service of liquor in an independent and
demarcated room approved by the Collector/Licensing Authority. It is, therefore,
pleaded that the activity of sale and consumption of foreign liquor is an
activity independent of the rest of the establishment and is restricted to the
demarcated and designated room approved by the Collector for sale and
consumption of liquor.
On certain days sale of liquor is prohibited. On such
days the demarcated room or rooms for the sale of liquor are kept closed and the
rest of the establishment is allowed to function and other activities of the
Restaurant like sale of food and amusement performances are not disturbed.
On grounds of violation of Article 14, 16 and 21 of the constitution, women's
prohibited the employment in Hotels and Bar serving liquor was challenged in
judgment of Anuj Garg's case it appears that Constitutional validity of
section 30 of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914 prohibiting employment of "any man
under the age of 25 years" and/or "any women" in any part of such premises in
which liquor or intoxicating drugs is consumed by the Public was observed and
- Article 21 (Right to live with Dignity)
Article 21 of the Indian constitution is the fountain head of the right to
human dignity .The right to woman dignity has been elucidated by the Supreme
Court that the right to life does not mean only animal existence but to live
with dignity, Since the term human dignity is incapable of exact definition it
has been used, defined and illustrated by the Court depending on the fact and
circumstances and socio-cultural milieu. Looking to the development of the woman
human dignity at international arena and the need of the socio-political and
cultural environment, the court has explained and articulated the right to human
dignity in various forms.
- Right against Exploitation
In Vishal jeet v. Union of India, the Court has held that:
always remains as a running sore in the body of civilization and destroys all
moral values. The causes and evil effects of prostitution maligning the society
are so notorious and frightful that none can gainsay it. This malignity is daily
and hourly threatening the community at large slowly but steadily making the way
onwards leaving a track marked with broken hopes. Therefore the necessity for
appropriate and drastic action to eradicate this evil has become apparent. The
Court suggested certain measures for eradicating the evil.
- Section 363, IPC --Punishment for Kidnapping
Whoever kidnaps any person from [India] or from lawful guardianship, shall
be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may
extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.2 The words "British
India" have successively been substituted by the A.O.1948, the A. O.1950 and
Act 3 of 1951, sec.3. Section 366, IPC--Kidnapping, abducting or inducing
woman to compel her marriage, etc Section 366 (Act 20, Section 2) IPC had
been enacted in 1923. It states that whoever kidnaps or abducts any woman
with intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she
will be compelled, to marry any person against her will, or in order that
she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, or knowing it to be
likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, shall be
punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend
to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Classification of Offence
Punishment—Imprisonment for 10 years, and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable Section 493, Section 494, Section
495, Section 496, Section 498, IPC provides the elaborative explanation to give
judgment to cases coming under this law.
Section 373, IPC-- Buying Minor Girls for purposes of Prostitution, etc
Section 373 IPC (Act 18, Section 2) had been enacted in 1924. Section 366 (a),
IPC says, whoever, by any means whatsoever, induces any minor girl under the age
of eighteen years to go from any place or to do any act with intent that such
girl may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to
illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable with imprisonment
which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.3 Section 366
(b), Section 367, Section 372, Section 373, IPC are also the part of Section 373
- Dowry Death and SuicidesThe offence is called dowry death which is made punishable under the Section
304-B, IPC with imprisonment of not less than seven years but which may extend
to imprisonment for life. These offence are Cognizable-Non-bailable-Triable by
Court of Session—Non-compoundable. Under IPC 304B Dowry death:
- Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or
occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her
marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to
cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or
in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called dowry
death, and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her
Explanation- For the purpose of this sub-section, dowry shall have the same
meaning as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961).
- Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a
term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to
imprisonment for life. Thus the Offence under Section 304-B has the
- The death of a woman should be caused by burns or bodily injury
otherwise than under normal circumstances.
- Such death should have occurred within seven years of her marriage.
- She must have been subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or
any relative of her husband.
- Such Cruelty or harassment should be for or in connection with demand
- Immediately before S. 499A in the First Schedule substitution of the
Chapter heading by 'Of offences against illiterate women'.
- Amendment of the First Schedule making necessary entries after S. 498A
i.e. inserting S 498A prescribing - 'Taking, demanding or abetting to take
dowry' as a 'Cognizable' and 'Non-bail able' offence punishable with
'imprisonment for not less than 5 year which may extend to 10 years and fine
not less than 15,000 rupees or the amount of value of the dowry, whichever
is more' and empowering the CJM or CMM to take cognizance of the offence.
- In the First Schedule, against section 498A. in Col.4, omit the
qualifying clause and the word 'Cognizable' alone be retained. Consequential
amendments of S304 IPC - In the First Schedule, col3, the existing entry be substituted by
'imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term not less than 7 years but
which may extend 10 years'.
- Omit S. 198A.
- Amending S.39 to cast a duty on the public to give information as to a
a. In Clause ( v ), for the word and figures, 'and 304' , '304 and 304B' shall
b. After Clause, ( xii )insertion of the following: 'Section 498B (that is
offences relating to dowry)'.
Indian Evidence Act:
a. Insertion of S.113AA. Burden of proof lies with the person charged with S498 IPC (Dowry Offence).
General Suggestions and Remarks:
- Cruelty to illiterate women is taking serious dimensions and hence
punishment to be enhanced.
- Compulsory registration of marriage and the list of gifts which may be
given to the girl be registered.
- Amend the Hindu Marriage Act to make registration of marriage under that
- Provide tax exemption on gifts to facilitate parents to settle property
by way of gifts openly to the girls.
- Marriage expenses in no case to exceed 20 % of the annual income of the
bridge's parents or guardians.
- Greater emphasis should be placed on the proper and strict
implementation of the provision relating to Dowry Prohibition Officers and
Advisory Boards by appoint full time officers who shall be accountable to
the Advisory Board
Special Initiatives For Women In India
Some of special initiatives taken in India are:
- National Commission for Women
The National Commission for Women was constituted under the act on 31st January,
1992 to exercise powers and review the existing legislation to suggest
amendments wherever necessary,etc.
- Reservation for Women in Local Self -Government
The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Acts passed in 1992 to ensure one-third of the
total seats for women in all elected offices in local bodies whether in rural
areas or urban areas.
- The National Plan of Action for the Girl Child
The plan of Action (1991-2000) is to ensure survival, protection and development
of the girl child with the ultimate objective of building up a better future for
the girl child.
- National Policy for the Empowerment of Women (2001)
To bringing about advancement, development and empowerment of women in all
spheres of life through creation of a more responsive judicial and legal system
sensitive to women and mainstreaming a gender perspective in the development
process. The strengthening and formation of relevant institutional mechanisms
and implementation of international obligations/ commitments and co-operation at
the international, regional and sub-regional level was another commitment.
- The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
Provides for more effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under
the Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the
family and for matters connected herewith or incidental there to. It provides
for immediate and emergent relief to women in situations of violence of any kind
in the home.
- Chhattisgarh Tonhi Pratadna Nivaran Act, 2005
Article 14 of the Constitution of India proclaims the principles of equality
before law by providing that the State Shall not deny to any person equality
before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of
India. Article 15 which deal with prohibition of discrimination on grounds of
religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth also provides in its clause (3)
that nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special
provision for women and children.
Besides this, Article 39 which lays down certain principles to be followed by
the State provides:
The State shall, in particular direct its policy towards securing:
- That the citizen, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate
means of livelihood.
- That there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
- That the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender
age of children are not abused and the citizens are not forced by economic
necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.
- The framers of the Constitution were well aware that women in this
country were not enjoying rights equal to those of men. That is why; they
incorporated the abovementioned provisions in the Constitution. But these
provisions were far from satisfactory and failed to bring about the desired
constitutional provisions, and for remedying the existing situation of women
so as to improve the condition of women, the Parliament enacted the National
Commission for Women Act, 1990 (No. 20 of 1990) to constitute a National
Commission for Women and to provide for matters connected therewith or
Role Of Judiciary
Women enjoy a unique position in every society and country of the world. In
spite of their contribution in all spheres of life, they suffer in silence and
belong to a class which is in a disadvantaged position on account of several
barriers and impediments. India being a country of paradoxes is no exception.
Here too a woman, who is called to be an epitome of Shakhty, once given an
exalted status, are in need of empowerment.
Empowerment-legal, social and
economic, however, empowerment and equality are based on the gender sensitivity
of society towards their problems. The intensification of women's issues and
rights movement all over the world is reflected in the form of various
Conventions passed by the United Nations. These international protections have
helped in the articulation of feminist ideology.
Gender equality, as an ideal has always eluded the constitutional provisions of
equality before the law or the equal protection of law. This is because equality
is always supposed to be between equals and since the judges did not concede
that man and women were equal, gender equality did not seem to them to be a
legally forbidden inequality.
Justice Bradley of the United States Supreme Court said: The natural and proper
timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for
many of the occupations of civil life.....The paramount destiny and mission of
women are to fulfill the noble benign officers of wife and mother. This is the
law of Creator. It is also worthwhile to quote words of an eminent American
judge who, after tracking the historical background, explained the need for
special provisions being made for women.
That women's physical
structure and the performance of maternal functions place her at a disadvantage
for subsistence is obvious. History discloses the fact that woman has always
been dependent upon man. He established his control at the outset by superior
physical strength and this control in various forms, with diminishing intensity,
has continued to the present. Education was long denied to her, and while now
the doors of the school room are opened and her opportunities for acquiring
knowledge are great, yet even with that and consequent increase of capacity for
business affairs it is still true that in the struggle for subsistence she is
not an equal competitor with her brother.
She will still be where some legislation to protect her seems necessary to
secure a real equality or right. As late as in 1961, the United States
Supreme Court upheld a law placing a woman on the jury list only if she made a
special request as put by Justice Harlan:
A woman is still regarded as the centre of home and family life.
as pointed out by Dicey, the Constitutional theories of Rule of Law and the
fundamental rights stemmed from the struggle for individual liberty and were
intended to curb the power of the State. For a long time gender issues did not
come in the limelight. But as pointed out by Felix Frank future: Our
Constitutional guarantees of individual freedoms are not static but are
expressions of basic human values.
They transcend day to day shift in majority
wishes and hence require redefinition from time to time to meet narrowly recognised if not narrowly created human needs. In our country, the
Constitutional makers while drafting the Constitution were sensitive to the
problems faced by women and thus made specific provisions relating to them.
supreme court, in its various articles, not only mandates equality of the sexes
but also authorities begin discrimination in favour of women and children to
make up for the backwardness which has been their age-old destiny. But
categorical imperatives constitutionalised by the founding Fathers are not self
acting and can acquire socio legal locomotion only by appropriate State
Legal frame work and role of Judiciary in India
Overall Crime, Atrocity and violence against Women in a Legal Frame Work and
Role of Judiciary in India for Women have been studied in two category;
In Neera Mathur V. LIC
, The court decided that privacy was an important
aspect of personal liberty. In this case, the Supreme Court was shocked to learn
that an LIC questionnaire sought information about the dates of menstrual
periods and past pregnancies, and the petitioner was terminated for not
providing correct information to the LIC.
The Supreme Court held that the
questionnaire amounted to invasion of privacy and that, therefore such probes
could not be made. The right to personal liberty guaranteed under article 21
included the right to privacy. Information about health could be sought where
such information was relevant- it was relevant for selling insurance cover but
not for the person seeking employment.
In Gautam Kundu v. State of west Bengal
, the apex Court ensured that an
application for a blood test to disprove paternity of a child in a maintenance
suit was rejected. It was held that a child born of a married woman is deemed to
be legitimate unless the contrary is proved. Such a presumption could be
rebutted by a strong preponderance of evidence and not a mere balance of
The Court laid down the following principles:
- that courts in India cannot order a blood test as a matter of course;
- an application for subjecting a child to a blood test, made in order to
have a roving inquiry, cannot be entertained,
- there must be a prima facie case for suspecting the fatherhood of a
child which can be established by proving non-access,
- The court must carefully examine as to what would be the consequences of
ordering a blood test, whether it would have the effect of branding a child
as a bastard and its mother as an unchaste woman.
The Court observed that such a demand for subjecting the child to a blood test was contrary to the right to personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the
Constitution and said; Permitting blood test to prove or disprove paternity
unless there is a strong case and access was ruled out would be slanderous,
embarrassing and humiliating for the woman.
In Surjit Singh v. Kanwaljit Kaur
, the High court held; Allowing the medical
examination of a woman for her virginity would certainly violate her right to
privacy and personal liberty enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Such an order would amount to a roving enquiry against a female who are
vulnerable even otherwise. In the instant matrimonial case the question of
virginity of the wife is not in issue and the virginity test cannot constitute
the sole basis to prove the consummation of marriage. Allowing such a medical
examination of the wife would be holding a roving enquiry which is not
Thus, order of Lower Court dismissing application by husband for getting wife
medically examined in order to prove her virginity is proper.
In Zahida Begam v. Mustaka hamed
 a suit was filed by the wife for dissolution
of marriage on the ground of impotency of husband who was unable to perform
marital obligations. The husband denied that he is impotent or was unable to
perform marital obligation. On the contrary he requested the court that wife be
directed to undergo medical checkup so as to ascertain her virginity. Karnataka
High Court held that the direction of the court to the wife to undergo virginity
test was improper and invaded privacy of the plaintiff wife, which was violation
of the Article 21 of the Constitution.
In Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Subhra Chakraborty
the complainant, a student, was
induced by the accused, a teacher, on false assurance of marriage to cohabit
with him. He not only made false assurance of marriage but also fraudulently
went through marriage ceremonies. When she became pregnant the accused made her
undergo an abortion. When she asked him to maintain her, he disowned her on the
ground that there was no marriage.
He was prosecuted under various sections of
the IPC. The Supreme Court refusing to quash the prosecution ruled that rape was
not only an offence under the Penal Code but was also a violation of a woman's
right to live with dignity and personal freedom. It is a crime against basic
human right and it is also violative of victim's most cherished of Fundamental
Rights, namely, the right to life contained in Article 21. To many feminists and
psychiatrists, rape is less a sexual offence than an act of aggression aimed at
degrading and humiliating women.
In State of Maharashtra v. Madhukar N. Mardikar
, the Supreme Court said with
reference to rape, which unchastely of a woman does not make her open to any
and every person to violate her person as and when he wishes. Even a prostitute
has a right to privacy under the Article 21 and no person can rape her just
because she is a woman of easy virtue. Another dynamic judgment with reference
to Article 21 is Chairman Railway Board v. Chandrima Das
The Court in this
case observed that the word life
as used in the Universal Declaration must get
the same meaning as in Article 21. Its meaning cannot be narrowed down. Here
relief was provided to a Bangladeshi woman who was raped. The term life in the
International Conventions relating to Human Rights and Article 21 were
interpreted to mean life worth living, meaningful and dignified.
In Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan
, The Supreme court in the field of sexual
harassment of working women at their place of work, formulated guidelines for
their protection. According to Supreme Court:
Gender equality includes
protection from sexual harassment and right to work with dignity which is a
universally recognized basic human right, the common minimum requirement of this
right has received global acceptance.
In the absence of domestic law occupying the field, to formulate effective
measures to check the evil of sexual harassment of working women at all
workplaces, the content of international conventions and norms are significant
for the purpose of interpretation of the guarantee of gender equality, right to
work with human dignity in Articles 14,15,19(1)(g) and 21 of the constitution
and the safeguards against sexual harassment implicit therein and for
formulation of guidelines to achieve this purpose.
Kailash v. State of Maharashtra
 demonstrates a typical instance of brutal
atrocity against a tribal woman who had been beaten and paraded on the village
road in broad day light. The session's court had awarded the minimum punishment
under sections 452,354,323,506(2) read with section 3 of Scheduled Cast and
Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.On appeal to the High Court
of Bombay, that part of the session court's order regarding fine imposed under
various sections of IPC was set aside and each of the appellant was directed to
pay a fine of Rs.5000/- only to the victim.
The conviction of the accused under
section 3 of the SC/ST Act too was set aside on hyper technical grounds that the
caste certificate was not produced and investigation by a police officer of the
rank of deputy superintendent of police was not done. When the matter reached
the apex court, the court took a very serious note of atrocities against
illiterate women and considered the above mentioned defects as mere
technicalities and hardly a ground for acquittal. The court observed that the
sentence was too light considering the gravity of the offence.
The court by
described the instance as shameful, shocking and outrageous offence. The
dishonor of the victim called for harsher punishment, and we are surprised that
the State Government did not file any appeal for enhancement of the punishment
awarded by the Additional Judge. It is commendable that though all the
eye-witnesses have turn hostile, the court rightly relied on the statement of
the victim. The humiliation done to the tribal woman is shameful. Considering
that the Constitution of India mandates equal respect to all communities, sects,
lingual and ethnic groups in the country, it is high time to stop the atrocities
against tribal in general and tribal illiterate women in particular.
In Sonu Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh
 while acquitting the accused from
charges under section 366(A) of IPC, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh
reiterated that three principal ingredients are must to constitute an offence
under section 366-A IPC: (a) a miner girl below the age of 18 years is induced
by the accused: (b) she is induced to go from any place or to do any act, and
(c) she is so induced with intent that she may be or knowing that it is likely
that she will be forced to seduce to illicit intercourse with another
In Jiban Das v. State of Tripura
, where a husband set fire on his wife and
put her to death , referring to karnel Singh v. State
, the High Court of Gauhati
reiterated that in the cases of defective investigation the court has to be
circumspect in evaluating the evidence but it would not be right in acquitting
the accused person solely on account of the defect; to do so would tantamount to
plying in the hands of the investigation officer, if the investigation is
designedly defective. Heavily criticising the court below and investigating
officers the court held thus.
In Gulab v. State of M.P
. the High Court of Madhya Pradesh restated that the
testimony of the prosecutrix alone can form the basis of conviction if it
inspires confidence and is found to be reliable. While upholding the conviction
of the accused the court also expressed its disappointment in not awarding the
minimum statutory punishment in the following words: The victim was a minor of
12 years of age. She was alone and helpless at the place of incident.
The accused took advantage of such situation and committed the rape. It is
unfortunate that the session's judge had been lenient in passing the lesser
sentence than the minimum sentence prescribed in the law. The leniency of the
courts in rape cases cannot be appreciated. The courts must award maximum
punishment in rape cases especially where minor girls are involved.
In State of U.P. v. Pappu
, the finding a rape case that prosecutrix was not
having good character and was a girl of easy virtue was held by the Supreme
Court to be no ground for acquittal of accused.
The Court held that:
assuming that the victim was previously accustomed to sexual intercourse that is
not a determination question. On the contrary, the question which was required
to be adjudicated was- did the accused commit rape on the victim on the occasion
Even if it is hypothetically accepted that the victim had lost
her virginity earlier, it did not and cannot in law give licence to any person
to rape her. It is the accused who was on trial and not the victim. Even the
victim in a given case has been promiscuous in her sexual behaviour earlier. She
has a right to refuse to submit herself to sexual intercourse to anyone and
everyone because she is not vulnerable object or prey for being sexually
assaulted by anyone and everyone.
The facts in Kamalanantha v. State of T.N
., shocked the judicial conscience. The insatiable lust for sex of Swami Premananda led to raping 13 Ashram girls
and murder of one. The ashram which is supposed to be God's abode turned out to
be devil's workshop.
It is a classic case of betrayal of fatherly and divinely
trust of inmates of Ashram girls who were orphans and destitute. Plea taken in
this case was that some of the prosecutrix consented to the sexual intercourse.
However, the facts show that the consent was obtained by deceitful means as most
of the girls in the ashram were orphans with no other place to go, Accused had
dominion and control over them. Therefore, Consent obtained by deceitful means
or under threat of death or hurt is no consent at all. It cannot be said,
therefore, that charge levelled against accused does not fall in the category of
In Bhupinder Sharma v. State of H.P
. the court held that:
To insist on corroboration except in the rarest of rare cases is to equate one
who is a victim of lust of another with an accomplice to a crime and thereby
insult womanhood. It would be adding insult to injury to tell a woman that claim
of rape will not be believed unless it is corroborated in material particulars
as in the case of an accomplice to a crime. Why should the evidence of the girl
or the woman who complains of rape or sexual molestations be viewed with the aid
of spectacles filled with lenses tinged with doubt, disbelief or suspicion?
In Satvir Singh v. State of Punjab
 reflected the scope of the sections in
the IPC. The Court held that Section 306, IPC read with Section 113-A of the
Indian Evidence Act, has only enabled the court to punish a husband or his
relatives who subjected a woman to cruelty as envisaged in Section 498-A, IPC
and such woman commits suicide within seven years of her marriage. It is
immaterial for Section 306, IPC whether cruelty or harassment was soon before
her death or earlier. If it was soon before her death the special provision
in Section 304-B, IPC would be inviolable, otherwise Section 306, IPC can be
The requirements of section 304B were examined in Rajesh Bhatnagar v. State of
,. The requirements are: The death of a woman is caused by burns,
bodily injury or otherwise than in normal circumstances; and death has been
caused or occurred within 7 years of marriage.
Further, it should be shown that soon before her death, she was subjected to
cruelty or harassment by her husband or her husband's family or relatives and
thirdly, that such harassment should be relation to a demand for dowry. Once
these three ingredients are satisfied, the death shall be treated as a dowry death
and once a
husband or relative shall be presumed to have caused the death.
Thus, by fiction
of law, the husband or relative would be presumed to have committed the offence
of dowry death rendering them liable for punishment unless the presumption is
rebutted. It is only a presumption of law in relation to a death but also a
deemed liability fastened upon the husband/relative by operation of law.
In Appasaheb v. State of Maharashtra
, the apex court held that a demand for
money on account of some financial stringency or for meeting some urgent
domestic expenses or for purchasing manure cannot be termed as a demand for
dowry as the said word is normally understood. However, Appasaheb was
reconsidered by the apex court in Bachni Devi v. State of Maharashtra
wherein it was that Appa saheb does not lay down a law of universal application.
If a demand for property or valuable security, directly or indirectly, had nexus
with marriage, such demand would constitute demand for dowry.
Pathan Hussain Basha v. State of A.P
. presented to the fact situations. The
court observed that when there is charge under sections 304B and 498A IPC, the
prosecution has to prove guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. In the
present case, the prosecution by reliable and cogent evidence has established
guilt of the accused. Then, it was for the accused to show that death of the
deceased did not result from any cruelty or demand of dowry by the accused
The accused has to explain as to how and why his wife died, as well as
his conduct immediately prior and subsequent to the death of deceased. If it was
his found that the accused did not care to explain as to how death of his wife
occurred, the onus is not said to be discharged. Maintaining silence could not
be equated to discharge of onus by the accused.
In the case Kulwant Kaur v. Gurudial Singh Mann
 the court held that an issue
pertaining to perversity comes within the ambit of substantial question of law.
By holding that the high court has failed to exercise the jurisdiction conferred
on it despite the plea of perversity being raised the court said that any
finding which is not supported by evidence or inferences is drawn in a stretched
and unacceptable manner can be said to be perverse. that court concluded that
the childish and fanciful behaviour of the wife, the allegation by wife of the
extra marital affair of the Appellant-husband, publication in the newspapers
that the husband was a womaniser and a drunkard etc. amounted to cruelty.
Shashi Bala v. Rajiv Arora
, was an appeal filed under section 28 of the
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the appellant seeking to challenge the impugned order
and decree passed by the learned trial court whereby a decree of divorce in
favour of the respondent husband under section 13(i)(a) of the Hindu Marriage
Act was granted and the counter claim field by the appellant seeking a decree
for restitution of conjugal rights under section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act was
By reiterating Samar Ghosh v. Jaya Ghosh
 the High Court of Delhi held that
willful denial of sexual intercourse without reasonable cause would amount to
cruelty. In Premwati v. State of M.P.
, it was held that Section
304-B(1) would be attracted not only when the death is caused by someone but
also when the death occurs unnaturally
. If occurrence of death is preceded by cruelty or
harassment by in-laws for or in connection with a dowry demand and if the
connection between the two is established, mere occurrence of death is enough
though death may not have been caused by the in-laws.
In Hem Chand v. State of Haryana
, the court was of the opinion that proof of
direct connection of the accused with her death is not essential. The absence of
direct connection of the accused with the death has to be taken into
consideration in balancing the sentence to be awarded to the accused.
In Wazir Chand v. State of Haryana
, was a case involving the death by
burning of a newly-married woman? The circumstances did not establish either
murder or an abetted suicide and the in-laws escaped the jaws of Sections 300
and 306, IPC.
But they were caught in the web of these newly enacted sections
for the prevention of harassment for dowry. In this case, the fact that a large
number of articles were taken back by the father of the deceased after her death
from her matrimonial house, showed that pressure was being exerted by the
in-laws for money and articles which continued to be exerted till her death.
A new dimension was added when the Supreme Court observed in Shobha Rani v.
, that a demand for dowry entitles the wife to get a decree
for dissolution of marriage. Thus Section 304-B, IPC has given a new dimension
to the concept of cruelty for the purposes of matrimonial remedies.
In State of
Punjab v. Iqbal Singh
, the court while convicting the husband held that:
The legislative intent behind incorporation of Section 113-A of the Indian
Evidence Act and Section 304-B of Indian Penal Code was to strengthen the hands
of the prosecution in a crime generally committed within the privacy of
In Kans Raj v. State of Punjab
, a three judge Bench of the Court dealt with
the presumption available in terms of Section 113-B of the Evidence Act and its
effect on finding persons guilty in terms of Section 304-B IPC.
It was laid,
The law as it exists now provides that where the death of a woman is caused by
any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances
within seven years of marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she
was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative for or in
connection with demand of dowry, such death shall be punishable under Section
Thus in order to seek conviction against a person for offence of dowry
death, the prosecution is obliged to prove that:
- the death of woman was caused by burns or bodily injury of had occurred
otherwise than under normal circumstances;
- such death should have occurred within 7 years of her marriage;
- the deceased was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or by
any relative of her husband;
- such cruelty or harassment should be for or in connection with demand of
- To such cruelty or harassment the deceased should have been subjected
soon before death.
In Ram Badan Sharma v. State of Bihar
, is yet another case where there were
evidences which showed that has been persistent demand of dowry and because of
non fulfilment of the said demands, there was harassment of the deceased. She
was not only harassed but humiliated and continuously beaten by accused husband
and in-laws. Poison was administered to her in Prasad and she died within seven
years of her marriage.
The Presumption under Section 113-B of the Evidence Act
was attracted. There was also unnatural conduct on the part of accused in not
informing the parents of the deceased who lived only a few miles away from the
village of the accused. He also caused disappearance of evidence thereby
attracting Section 201 IPC.
The dead body was secretly and clandestinely
cremated. Therefore the conviction of the accused was upheld under Sections
304-B and 201 IPC. In granting bail to the accused and charges of serious
offences of cruelty and dowry death, the court laid down three factors in
Gajanand Aggarwal v. State of Orissa, which may be considered before
granting bail under Section 437 CrPC. These are:
- The nature of accusations and severity of punishment in case of
conviction and the nature of supporting evidence.
- Reasonable apprehension of tampering witness or apprehension of threat
- Prima facie satisfaction of court in support of charge.
In Kailash v. State of M.P
., in the wee hours of morning the dead body of
deceased was found floating in a well, located in the house of the appellant.
The death of the deceased occurred otherwise than in normal circumstances and
within seven years of marriage. Evidence of witnesses clearly stated that
deceased was subjected with dowry demand, torture and harassment by her husband.
The court found the conviction of accused husband under Section 304-B IPC
proper. However on facts and circumstances, sentence of 10 years RI was reduced
to eight years.
Illiterate women have suffered many problems in our society and country.
Discussed problem and many solution but they are not sufficient accurate
solution these problem, therefore we make our social structure very strong for
illiterate women favourable conditions for survive normal and healthy
environment. If we give such type social environment, assure that we are getting
empowered and successful illiterate women.
Conclusions And Suggestion
After analyzing the various aspects of issues relating to illiterate women it
can be concluded that illiterate women are still facing the crime, atrocities
and violence in a male dominated society. Even after the emergence of values,
the concept of fundamental rights and basic freedoms for all, this section of
society has been denied these freedoms in most parts of the India.
proportion of IPC crimes committed against illiterate women towards total IPC
crimes has increased during last 5 years from 9.2% in the year 2009 to 11.2%
during the year 2013. The crime against illiterate women during the year 2013
has increased by 26.7% over the year 2012 and by 51.9% over the year 2009.
The IPC component of crimes against illiterate women has accounted for 95.6% of
total crimes and the rest 4.4% were SLL crimes against illiterate women.
Crime, atrocities and violence against illiterate women are increasing at recent
years in India. Such are:
- An increasing trend in the incidence of rape has been observed during
the periods 2009 - 2013. These cases have reported an increase of 3.6% in
2010 over 2009 and an increase of 9.2% in the year 2011 over the year 2010,
an increase of 3.0% in the year 2012 over 2011 and further an increase of
35.2% n the year 2013 over 2012.
- Incest rape cases have increased by 36.7% from 392 cases in 2012 to 536
as in 2013 as compared to 35.2% increase in overall rape cases.
- Kidnapping & Abduction cases have reported an increase of 35.6% during
the year as compared to previous year 2012 (38,262 cases).
- The cases of dowry deaths have decreased by 1.8% during the year 2013
over the previous year (8,233 cases).
- The cases of 'Torture' committed on illiterate women in the country have
‘reased by 11.6% during 2013 over the previous year (1, 06,527 cases).
- Incidents of assault on illiterate women with intent to outrage her
modesty in the country have increased by 56.0% during 2013 over the previous
year (45,351 cases).
- The number of Insult to the modesty of illiterate women cases has
increased by 37.2% during 2013 over the previous year (9,173 cases).
- Importation of girls from foreign country a decrease of 47.4% has been
observed in cases registered under this crime in 2013 (31 cases) over 59
cases registered in 2012
- Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956: Cases under this Act have
registered an increase of 0.6% during the year 2013 as compared to the
previous year (2,563).
- Commission of Sati Prevention Act, 1987: No case was registered under
this crime head across the country during the year 2013.
- Indecent Representation of Illiterate women (Prohibition) Act, 1986: An
increase of 156.7% was noticed in this crime head during the year 2013 as
compared to the previous year (141 cases).
- Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961: Incidents of cases registered under this
Act has increased by 17.9% during the year 2013 as compared to the previous
year (9,038 cases).
Above stated data proves my hypothesis that existing legislation relating to
crime against illiterate women are not sufficient/adequate to overcome the
problem of crime, atrocities and violence against illiterate women. Although new
legislations have been enforced and amendments made on existing legislations but
the incidences of violence, sexual assaults, rape etc are on the increase. It is
necessary that illiterate women should be given due respect and status in
For this purpose, it is necessary to change the attitude of society.
Although on paper, there is no discrimination against illiterate women in plans
and programmes of the Government, but poor illiterate women have been largely at
low levels in the stairs of development. They are getting lower income and have,
generally been living in lower status. Government Institution, in order to
economically empower the illiterate women, should have made attempt to employ
them in gainful employments.
It is submitted that we have no right to be called civilized unless both men and
illiterate women get the status of equality. While doing my research I found
illiterate women and girl children to be in a critical situation. They are not
safe at homes, workplaces and other public places. Measures are necessary to
improve our legislation and court's role in providing safety.
It is necessary that:
- Female employees should be made aware of their rights by notifying the
guidelines at work places;
- Training should be given to all females to protect themselves against
any attempts of outraging their modesty;
- There is a need to create awareness among the illiterate women about
sexual harassment as most of them are not aware about their rights of
protection under the new Prohibition of Sexual Harassment Act, 2013.
- Media should be used in stimulating public debate, exposing the severity
and prevalence of violence against illiterate women
- More research should be carried out to understand different causes and
consequences of sexual harassment.
- Easy procedure for filing the complaint should be kept. The complaints
committee should have members who are gender sensitized people. It shall be
highly helpful if the Grievance Redressal Committees or complaints committee in
all institutions are empowered to investigate sexual harassment practices suo
moto and also by involving NGO's of illiterate women with such committees to
prevent administrative intervention and ensure implementation of its findings in
sexual harassment cases.
- It is mandatory to change the attitude of people which can be changed
through education by changes in curriculum at school level, by organising social
awareness camps, by evolving and gearing up State machinery for combating sexual
harassment at work place.
- We also need for stringent and effective laws, sensitive judiciary,
enforcement machinery and vigilant illiterate women's group to deal with
such atrocious crimes.
- It is necessary to prioritize cases in courts where illiterate women or
children are party by early listing and hearing without unnecessary
adjournments. Justice delayed is no justice.
- We should ensure that cases of rape, molestation, kidnapping,
eve-teasing, murder for dowry, cruelty by husband/relatives, trafficking of
girls are referred to Fast Track Courts set up for this purpose.
- Although there is no outer time limit for completion of trials, Judges
should try to achieve the mandate of S.309(1) of Cr.PC that:
in every inquiry or trial the proceedings shall be held as expeditiously as
possible, and in particular, when the examination of witnesses has once
begun, the same shall be continued from day to day until all the witnesses
in attendance have been examined, unless the Court finds the adjournment of
the same beyond the following day to be necessary for reasons to be
- Timely and proper recording of dying declaration of the victim by the
Judicial Magistrate is crucial for final conviction and officers must be
adequately trained in this regard.
- Trials in rape cases must be in-camera as per S. 327(2) of Cr.PC. The
provision seeks to protect the identity of the victim and must be adhered to.
However, under the proviso, the presiding Judge may allow support person to
accompany the victim on written application. Such a request should be allowed
if favourable to recording victim's testimony.
- Need is to create an enabling environment for child victims/witness
inside the courtroom. Children should not be forced to have contact with
alleged perpetrators and, where appropriate, audio-visual or closed-circuit
television technology should be made available to facilitate the process.
Children should be asked straightforward questions in language that they
- Legal aid and advice should be made available round the clock. District
Legal Aid committees should take the lead in the same and take special
measures to reach out to women and children.
- Setting up all women courts and child friendly Courts is a positive
development. However, gender-sensitive training must be necessary part of
training for judicial officers and other Court staff.
- Organization of Lok Adalats to encourage settlement in matrimonial disputes
should be adhered to.
I feel that our mindsets have changed and we always blame the women for such
crimes in which she is the victim and not the perpetrator. As neither law nor a
single organization can by itself save our society from this evil, therefore, it
is the duty of each and every person of our country to extend their support and
raise their voices for this cause so that we can root out this cultural cancer
from our society.
I have, from the studies conducted, tried to bring forth some solutions that can
help alleviate the situation and help society combat and reduce such crimes. The
world works on incentives. Some are inherent (internal) and some may be
instrumental (external). All human beings are motivated to act in a certain way
depending on these incentives.
Utilizing this connection, the table given below,
proposes appropriate incentives to promote a crime free personality:
We see criminal personalities are enjoying their criminal activities and their
activities are not tolerated by family, society and country. Although they have
been punished for such crimes but such punishment has not been sufficient to
deter others from committing such crimes. On the other hand, a person who has
not committed any crime ever does not receive his/her due recognition/financial
- National Crime Record Bureau, 2013
- (1992) 1 SCC 286
- (1993) 3 SCC 418
- AIR 2003, Panjab & Haryana 353
- AIR 2006 Kant 10
- (1996) 1 SCC 490
- (1991) 1 SCC 57
- (2000) 2 SCC 465, AIR 2000 SC 988.
- (1997) 6 SCC 241
- AIR 2011 SC 598
- Ramesh v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1962 SC 1908
- 2012 CriLJ 3210
- 1990 CriLJ 4173
- KundlaBala v. State (1993) 2 SCC 684
- 2012 (1) Crimes 205
- (2015) 3 SCC 594: 2005 SCC (Cri) 780: AIR 2005 SC 1248
- (2015) 5 SCC 194: 2005 SCC (Cri) 1121: AIR 2005 SC 2132
- (2003) 8 SCC 217: AIR 2003 SC 4684
- (2011) 8 SCC 633: 2002 SCC (Cri) 48
- (2017) 1 SCC 721
- AIR 2011 SC 2271
- (2012) 4 SCC 722
- (2012) 7 SCC 288
- 2012 (130) DRJ 20
- AIR 2012 SC 965
- (2017) 10 SCC 469
- 1991 Cri LJ 268 (MP)
- (1994) 6 SCC 727: 1995 SCC (Cri) 36
- (1989) 1 SCC 244: 1989 SCC (Cri) 105
- (1988) 1 SCC 105: 1988 SCC (Cri) 60
- (1991) 3 SCC 1: 1991 SCC (Cri) 513
- (2000) 5 SCC 207
- (2016) 10 SCC 115: (2007) 1 SCC (Cri) 166: AIR 2006 SC 2855
- (2016) 12 SCC 131: (2007) 1 SCC (Cri) 568: AIR 2006 SC 3248
- (2016) 12 SCC 667: (2007) 2 SCC (Cri) 359: AIR 2007 SC 107
- MamtaRao,Law relating to women & children, Eastern book company, Lucknow
,second edition, 2008, p.52.
- S.P.Sathe: Gender, Constitution and the Courts-in Engendering Law- Essay
in Honour of LotikaSarkar, Eastern book co. Lucknow, 1999.
- Brawell v. Illinois, 83 US 130 (1973)
- Muller v. Oregon, 208 US 412
- Hoyt v. Florida, 368 US 57 (1971).
- Diecy, A.V.: Introduction to the study of the Law of the Constitution,
MacMillan, London, 9th Edn. 1952
- Frankfuture, Felix: Mr. Justice Holmes and the Supreme Court, Harvard
University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1938.
- Justice Krishna Iyer: Crime Against Women – A Saga of Victomology and
Penology, Edited by O.C. Sharma, Ashish Publishing House, New Delhi, 1993.
-for women. pdf assessed on 2-3-2019
- Myneni, S.R.(Dr ): Women and Law, Asia Law House, Hyderabad, 2002.
- Articles 14 to 16 of the Constitution of India.
- Justice Gulab Gupta: Human Rights and fundamental Freedoms in India, MPHRC,
- Rajesh Kumar Daria v. Rajsthan Public Service Commission, AIR SC 3127
- AIR 2003 SC 3057
- MamtaRao, "Law relating to women & children, Eastern book company,
edition, 2008, p.54
- Valsamma Paul v. Cochin University, (1996) 3 SCC 545
- Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India (1978) 1 SCC 248: AIR 1978 SC 597.
- Kaur Singh v. Jaggar Singh, AIR 1961Punjab,489 followed in Joginder Singh v.
AIR 1965 Punjab 407
- (2010) 1 LLJ 371 (Del.)
- Dimple Singla v. Union of India (2002) 2 AISLJ 161
- Indian Hotel and Restaurants Association v. State of Maharashtra, AIR
- Anuj Garg v. Hotel Association of India,(2008) 3 SCC 1.
- Article 21 No person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty
except according to procedure established by law
- (1990) 3 SCC 318
- MamtaRao,Law relating to women & children, Eastern book company,
- Dr. Nuzhat Parveen Khan, Assistant Professor, Faculty of law, Jamia Millia
Islamia, New Delhi.
- 1996 Cr LJ 2725 (Cal)
- Pitta Usha, Empowerment of Women and Self Help Groups, p.4 New Delhi :
Sonali Publications, 2010.
- Tinku Paul, Women Empowerment through Work Participation, p.32, New Delhi :
New Century Publications, 2009.
- Rameshwari Pandya and Babitha Shukla , Women in Politics in Rameshwari
Pandya, (ed.) Women Welfare and Empowerment in India Vision for 21st Century,
p.572, New Delhi: New Century Publications, 2008.
- Dr. G.P. Reddy on Women are law, IV ed., 2000, p. 2.
- 2009 (9) S.C.C. 1.
- AIR 1982 SC 879.
- AIR 1981 sc 1829
- 2009 (9) S.C.C. 1.
(Visited on Nov 26,2019)
- A.I.R 1991 S.C. 207
- International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES)". ICRW.org. Archived
from the original on 2016-03-27. Retrieved 2016-04-05
- Menon-Sen, Kalyani; Kumar, A.K. Shiva (2001). "Women in India: How Free? How
Equal?". United Nations. Archived from the original on 11 September 2006.
Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- Survey terms India most dangerous country for women". Dawn. 26 June
2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018
- Bureau, Zee Media. "National Commission for Women rejects survey that
said India is most dangerous place for women". Zee News. (27 June 2018)
- Is India really the most dangerous country for women?". BBC News. BBC.
28 June 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
(Visited on Nov 26, 2019)
- Logan T, Walker R, Cole J, Ratliff S, Leukefeld C. Qualitative differences
among rural and urban intimate violence victimization experiences and
consequences: a pilot study. J Fam Violence. 2003;18:83–92.
- Intimate partner violence: causes and prevention. Jewkes R Lancet. 2002 Apr
- K.D Gaur, A Textbook on the Indian Penal Code, 4th edition, Universal
Law Publishing co., 2013.
- Rao Mamta, Law relating to women and children, 3rd edition, Eastern Book
- 1975 AIR 1534, 1975 SCR (3) 967 1975 SCC (2) 326
- Sushma sood 1990 : the future of criminology, sage publication, New Delhi.
- Jyotsana Mishra (2000): Women and Human Rights, Kalpaz Publications, New
- M.K Roy (2000) : violence against women, common wealth, New Delhi.
- Saumaya kushwaha (2003) : women welfare, Rawal Publications, New Delhi.
- Section 8, The Indian Penal Code.
(Visited on Dec 1,2019).
- https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu>cgi>viewcontent (Visited on
- https://abyssinialaw.com> about-us > item > 427-the-concept-of-crime.
(Visited on Dec 1,2019).
- The Oxford English Dictionary
- K.D. Gaur, A Text Book of the Indian Penal Code, p.4 Universal Law
Publishing Company Pvt. Limited, New Delhi, 2004
- Encyclopedia of crime and justice, Vol. 4, 1983, pp. 1618-19
- https://thelawdictionary.org > crime (Visited on Dec 1, 2019)
- Black Law's Dictionary, , p.1564 VIIth edition, 1999
- Edwin Sutherland (1924): Principles of criminology, United States Armed
Force Institute, Madison, Wiscosin
- Halsbury (1953): Halsbury's Law of England, p 271, 3rd edition,
Butterworths publishers, London.
- Donald Taft (1943) : Criminology, 4th edition, the university of Chicago
- Section 10, IPC.
- (1956) 5 SCC 148.
(Visited on Nov 22,2019)
- https://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/wes/collections/women_law/ (Visited on Nov
- Atiya Anis Better half but in bad shape, The Hindu, July 21,2013.
- Prof. Aruna Goel : Violence against women – Issues and Perspectives, P.16,
Deep and Deep publications Pvt Ltd, New Delhi.
- Act No 14 of 2013
- Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan, (1997) 6 SCC 241; followed in Appeal Export
Promotion Council v. A.K. Chopra, 1999 (1) Supreme 110
- Universal's Criminal Manual, Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)
- Subs. By Act 26 pf 1955, sec. 117 and Sch., for transportation for life (w.e.f.
- Universal's Criminal Manual, Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)
- Anand A.S. Justice for Women, Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. Delhi,
Edition 3rd 2008
- Barrie Levy, Violence and Illiterate women, seal Studies, 2008, Google
- Brains Beverly and Marin Ruth Rubio, The Gender of Constitutional
Jurisprudence, Cambridge University Press, First Publish 2015
- Chakrabarti Nirmal Kanti and Sachi, Gender Justice, R.Cambray & Co. Pvt. Ltd.
Edition First, 2006
- Malik Krishna Pal, Illiterate women and the Law, Allahabad Law Agency, Edition
1st , 2009
- MedraltaSurinder, Handbook of Law, Illiterate women and Employment, Oxford
University Press, First Publication 2009
- Mishra Preeti,'Domestic Violence Against Women Legal Control and Judicial
Response' Deep &Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd.,New Delhi, First edn.2007,
- Myneni, S.R.(Dr ): Women and Law, Asia Law House, Hyderabad, 2002.
- Nair G. Rajasekharan , Gender Justice under Indian Criminal Justice System,
Eastern Law House Pvt. Ltd. Kolkats, Edition 1st, 2011
- Nanda Sukanta K. Law relating to women and Children, Orissa Law Reviews,
Cuttack, Edition 1st 2004
- Neera Desai &Maithreyi Krishna Raj, Women & Society in India, Aianta
Publications, New Delhi, 1987.
- Tripathy S.C and AroraVibha, ' Law relating to Women and Children' Central Law
Publications, Allahabad, Third Edn.2008
- Banerjee Sohini, Sexual Harassment-Some Case Studies with Special Reference to
Harassment at Educational institutions, Faculty Member, Indian Institute of
Social Welfare & Business Management, Kolkata. 2015
- Bhatti, R.S. and Beig ,M.A., Family Violence: A systemic Model, Indian
journal of Social Psychiatry, 1(20), p.174
- C.Bunch: Transforming Human Rights from a Feminist Perspective, 2016
- Chakrabarti, DrNirmalKanti, Domestic Violence and crimes Against Women in
india, Department of Law, Calcutta University
- ChakrabartyManik, Violence Against Women and the Law by Dr., Reader,
Department of Law, University of Burdwan, West Bengal. 2018
- Gulab Gupta, Justice, The development of women's right in four in four phases
taken from-Human Rights & Fundamental Freedoms, 2017
- Joshi Priyanka, Whispers and Tears: The fate of Health care needs of Indian
women and challenge before law, AIR, 2014,Journ 64
- Kalindi, Illiterate women as victims of sexual Harassment at work Place, AIR
- KapurJagga, Supreem Court Annual Index, 2010, LIPS Publication
- KapurJagga, Supreem Court Annual Index, 2011, LIPS Publication
- KapurJagga, Supreem Court Annual Index, 2012, LIPS Publication
- Sathasivam P. Hon'ble Justice, Illiterate women and Children- Role of Courts,
AIR 2013, Jour 201
- Selwyn Stanley, Social Problems in India, Allied Publishers PVt. Ltd. 2004 p.
- Singh A. Romen Kumar, Crime against Women & Its remedy, Gauhati Law Times,
1(1) 2012 (Jan) 6-17P
- Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
- Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Bill, 2002
- Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Rules, 2005
- The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013
- The Sexual Harassment of Illiterate women at Workplace( Prevention,
Prohibition, and Redressal ) Act 2013
- http://www.lawyerscollective.org/files/protection_of_illiterate women_from_
- http://www.shvoong.com/humanities/1628387-condition-illiterate women-indian-society/
- http://www.slideshare.net/iamtheuser/illiterate women-self-build-pillars
- http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/vaw-stat- 2005 /docs/expertpapers/