File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Gender Neutral Rights and Laws in India

Every human being has the right to be treated equally with dignity, no matter what caste, gender, creed, and religion that person belongs to. Thus, gender-neutral rights are very important in every country as it gives all the citizens of the country the right to be treated equally with dignity. As Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium says, for every wrong, the law provides a remedy, hence in the Constitution of India, there are several remedies or preventive guidelines for all the discriminations that the citizens of the country are subjected to.

Gender neutrality with respect to the victim

  1. It is extremely unfortunate that the Indian Law’s perception of rape is solely based on the belief that a victim of rape has to be a woman.
     
  2. This belief completely chalks out the fact that men and transgender people are also subjected to rape, as well as, physical assault and does not give equal importance to the rapes and sexual assaults on men and transgender people compared to sexual assault or rape of a woman.
     
  3. Thus, the lack of gender neutrality is evident and it is to be noted that the punishment for such heinous crimes should be equal irrespective of the gender of the victim. Moreover, it is assumed that the rape is entirely an act of sex to satisfy the sexual desire of the perpetrator which has been contradicted with the growing awareness that sexual assault is not an act of lust but also an act of showcasing the dominance over one caste, community religion.
     
  4. Thus, there is no reason for which men or transgender people cannot be subjected to rape or sexual abuse.
     
  5. Similarly, the precedent from the landmark case, Vishakha and others v. State of Rajasthan [i] safeguarded the rights of the women facing sexual assault in the workplace but similar laws for men or transgender people has not yet been spoken about.
     
  6. In State Govt. v. Sheodayal (1956),[ii] Madhya Pradesh (M.P.) The high court opined that the modesty of a woman can be outraged by another woman under the purview of Section 354 of IPC.

Role of the Constitution in prevailing gender neutrality in India

  • The Constitution of India is the law of the land hence it has been constituted with the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of the country.
  • As Article 14[iii] states,  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[iv]of the Constitution states,  Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.

    1. The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them
    2. No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction, or condition with regard to:
      1. access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, and palaces of public entertainment; or
      2. the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads, and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public
         
    3. Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children
       
    4. Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of Article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
       
  • Article 16[v] of the Constitution states,  Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
    1. There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State
       
    2. No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence, or any of them, be ineligible for or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State
       
    3. Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing, in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to any office under the Government of, or any local or other authority within, a State or Union territory, any requirement as to residence within that State or Union territory prior to such employment or appointment
       
    4. Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favor of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State is not adequately represented in the services under the State
       
    5. Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any law which provides that the incumbent of an office in connection with the affairs of any religious or denominational institution or any member of the governing body thereof shall be a person professing a particular religion or belonging to a particular denomination

Lack of gender neutrality in Indian Rape laws:

  1. According to India, Section 375[vi] of the IPC, as amended by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 states that:
  2. A man is said to commit rape if he:
    1. penetrates his penis, to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a woman or makes her do so with him or any other person; or
    2. 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 do so with him or any other person; or
    3. manipulates any part of the body of a woman so as to cause penetration into the vagina, urethra, anus, or any part of the body of such woman or makes her do so with him or any other person; or
    4. applies his mouth to the vagina, anus, urethra of a woman or makes her do so with him or any other person,

Section 375 of the IPC solely talks about what is considered to be rape and it is specified that it is considered rape only when the victim is a woman.

Section 377 [vii] of the IPC states:

Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 377 talks about any unnatural intercourse with any man, woman, or animals that are punishable up to ten years of imprisonment along with fines. Thus, no separate defined laws have been created for men or even transgender people.

Conclusion
Gender neutral rights are not only important to prevail equality in the society but also, it gives all human beings a sense of security. Gender neutrality when practiced in its true sense, helps to create a balance in the society and demolishes the sense of superiority that generally gives rise to crimes.

It is the sense of superiority that makes a man commit the murder of his own wife for dowries or even raping minors to take out the grudges that the perpetrator might have on the minor’s family, as we have seen in the Kathua Rape Case. Thus, to eradicate such a vague sense of power and superiority, gender neutrality should prevail through the laws and the rights to be enjoyed by all should be truly enjoyed by all the citizens irrespective of their gender.

End-Notes:
  1. Vishakha and others v. State of Rajasthan AIR 1997 SC 3011
  2. State Govt. v. Sheodayal (1956 Cr LJ 83 M.P)
  3. Article 14 of the constitution of India
  4. Article 15 of the constitution of India
  5. Article 16 of the constitution of India
  6. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code,1860
  7. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code,1860

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers



Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


LawArticles

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...

Titile

The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of th...

Whether Caveat Application is legally pe...

Titile

Whether in a criminal proceeding a Caveat Application is legally permissible to be filed as pro...

How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi

Titile

How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Copyright: An important element of Intel...

Titile

The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has its own economic value when it puts into any market ...

The Factories Act,1948

Titile

There has been rise of large scale factory/ industry in India in the later half of nineteenth ce...

Law of Writs In Indian Constitution

Titile

Origin of Writ In common law, Writ is a formal written order issued by a body with administrati...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online


File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly