January 29, 2014

Call for Papers: Special Issue in Honour of Lotika Sarkar

Journal of Indian Law and Society

“Indian Feminisms, Law Reform and the Law Commission of India: Special Issue in Honour of Lotika Sarkar”

Guest Editors: Rukmini Sen & Saptarshi Mandal[*]

CALL FOR PAPERS

Whether in terms of concrete statutory changes or as a discursive [...]

February 04, 2013

The Verma Committee Report: yet another fruitless exercise?

In the years following the implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, my work involved training the police and judiciary on the new law as part of a UNIFEM funded project on violence against women. The trainings were focused on the various provisions of the law and the role of [...]

April 07, 2012

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A newspaper report on the recent Gurgaon rape case concludes with the correspondent informing the readers that the victim was hired to “engage with male customers”. How is this piece of information relevant to the public at large. What does it really tell us about the crime. What it does, vaguely though, is describe the victim’s job. Cialis Tadalafil canada, Is that relevant to the crime. Not really, Cialis Tadalafil.

The reporting on the rape cases of the last few weeks has once again highlighted the Indian media’s failure to take into account some critical precautions while covering cases of sexual assault against women. Most crime reporters use the police as sources of information. The police often share a comfortable rapport with journalists who periodically seek them out for news. In private conversations, they possibly divulge more information than necessary. Cialis Tadalafil, In an interview that I conducted last year with a few senior crime reporters, one senior law correspondent of an English daily admitted, that a good journalist always has more information than a copy needs. It is up to journalists to exercise their discretion, 250mg Cialis Tadalafil, and leave out details that won’t necessarily benefit the story, the reporter added. Sure, the police should not be sharing intimate details of victims. Nevertheless, Cialis Tadalafil paypal, the media is obligated while reporting cases of sexual assault, to shield the identity of rape victims.

Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 prohibits the disclosure, not only of the victim’s name, but also of facts that could lead to the identification of the victim, such as the place of residence, 40mg Cialis Tadalafil, identifying or naming the victim’s family or friends, university, or work details.

The Press Council of India’s Norms of Journalistic Conduct (“the PCI norms”) warn journalists not to give excessive publicity to victims, witnesses, suspects, and accused, Cialis Tadalafil. The paramount concern in addition to the protection of victims is that, in publishing intimate details of their lives, Cialis Tadalafil mexico, the media exposes them to unwarranted public scrutiny. This safeguard protects the accused as well. Much of that information fails to add any value, unless it serves a genuine overriding public interest. Such information often obliquely encourages questions about the victim’s character and panders to unhealthy public curiosity. Cialis Tadalafil, In the T.I.S.S. rape case for instance, the media published details from the victim’s written statement to the police, Cialis Tadalafil uk. That information did not serve any public interest.

So, how do the personal details of a victim’s marital status, like in the Gurgaon or Calcutta rape cases, add value to the story. 40mg Cialis Tadalafil, How is it relevant to the crime. The Supreme Court in State of Karnataka v, Cialis Tadalafil. Puttaraja, warned against the disclosure of the rape victim’s identity even in the printing or publication of judgments issued by the High Courts or the Supreme Court. The Court observed that, “social victimization or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offence for which Section 228-A has been enacted, it would be appropriate that in the judgments, be it of this Court, Cialis Tadalafil us, High Court or lower Court, the name of the victim should not be indicated.” Further, the PCI norms prohibit the visual representation or photograph of not just the victim, but also her family or relatives to avoid identification.

Beyond the question of naming victims, 250mg Cialis Tadalafil, the recent media rape narratives also follow a familiar trajectory. The key terms, “married woman”, “unaccompanied in a pub”, and “late at night” come together to the conclusion, “raped”. Cialis Tadalafil, What does the media narrative of married women alone in pubs at night insinuate. It suggests that the woman was reckless or foolish to be out on her own that late, 20mg Cialis Tadalafil. There is a chauvinist undercurrent in that detail. It invites the response -- what was a married woman doing in a bar alone at night. Why was she there.

It offers little insight into the reasons for the crime, Cialis Tadalafil. Such rape coverage in the media promotes curiosity and interest in the victim’s life. It does not add to our understanding of rape or why it takes place. Instead, it feeds the propagation of the dominant misogynist view, that women of a "certain type" deserved to be raped.

***

This article was previously published at mylaw.net.

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December 10, 2009

Cialis Problems

Cialis Problems, EARLIER THIS MONTH, the ‘Staying Alive: Third Monitoring and Evaluation Report 09’ on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDVA) was released in Delhi. The report tracks the implementation of the Act for the third year in a row and has become a way to document jurisprudential development of the law and create a monitoring system. Findings are shared at a national conference annually at which civil society organisations can question state officials and examine progress. This has inadvertently come to operate as a social audit. The naming and shaming as well as applauding and deriding of state departments in a public forum fosters accountability and drives state governments to take necessary action. For example, this year, Minister for Law and Justice M, Cialis Problems. Cialis Problems overseas, Veerappa Moily recognised the need for fast-track courts to deal with cases of violence against women, easy availability of free legal aid and prioritisation of women’s cases in courts.

This annual report is authored by Lawyers Collective - Women’s Rights Initiative (LWCRI) and the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) in collaboration with the National Commission for Women (NCW) and supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. Three states were studied this year: Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. A survey conducted in Delhi and Rajasthan with police and protection officers (POs) assessed their knowledge of the law, 1000mg Cialis Problems, the practices they followed and attitudes towards the PWDVA and women. Cialis Problems, Data was gathered from the judiciary and women who had used the law were contacted to understand their experiences and expectations.

Questions centered around some of the key provisions of the PWDVA such as: categories of women the law protects (i.e. the applicant), who can the woman file the case against (i.e. 50mg Cialis Problems, the respondent), what acts qualify as domestic violence, what is the objective of counseling under the PWDVA, and the right to residence. For attitudinal assessment, several questions and statements were posed to gauge their attitude and gender bias, Cialis Problems us, such as “Domestic Violence is a family affair”; “Women before filing a complaint of domestic violence should consider how that would affect their children”; “Women deserve to be beaten in certain situations”.

This assessment police exposed possible barriers or facilitators in women’s access to the law, Cialis Problems. It also tried to evaluate if the law is serving its normative function by transforming societal norms and internalising the unacceptability of violence against women in the private sphere.

The PWDVA in many ways is a path-breaking law, not merely because it is an independent civil law that identifies violence against women in the shared household as ‘domestic violence’, 30mg Cialis Problems, but also because it provides women the right to reside in the shared household and protects women in non-matrimonial relationships. The right to reside in the shared household irrespective of any right, title or interest in the property safeguards women from dispossession. It also challenges the moral assumptions infused in other Indian laws by protecting women in non-marital relationships. Cialis Problems, The law provides protection, maintenance, residence, compensation and custody orders to the woman who has so far been relegated to the status of a ‘mistress’ with little or no rights, without passing judgment or denying her merely because she falls outside the ‘morally acceptable’ institution of marriage. The PWDVA also goes beyond marital relationships. It protects mothers, Cialis Problems usa, sisters, daughters, widows and women who are in relationships in the nature of marriage. The objective of recognising relationships in the nature of marriage was to offer protection to women whose ‘marriages’ are not valid in law or fail to meet the requirements of a legally valid marriage. Cialis Problems canada, The study captured the knowledge and acceptability of some of these key provisions. For instance, a certain percentage of POs in Delhi and Rajasthan felt that women in live-in-relationships, bigamous and fraudulent marriages should not be provided protection under the Act, Cialis Problems. When their knowledge on what acts come under the definition of domestic violence was tested, they recognised most acts of physical, verbal, emotional and economic violence but there was ambiguity surrounding forced sex in marital relationships.

The report also examined how well participants understand the objective and spirit of the legislation by asking questions about the motive of counseling, 100mg Cialis Problems. The purpose of counseling under the Act is to build the confidence of the woman and counsel the man to stop violence, as opposed to the common, incorrect perception of ‘saving families’. It was found that some percentage of the police in Delhi and Rajasthan saw counseling as a way of striking a compromise between couples. Cialis Problems, This perception trivialises the severity of domestic violence and reestablishes the need for training and sensitisation of key contact agencies such as the POs and the police. 10mg Cialis Problems, The orders from Gujarat show that in many cases, parties have reached a ‘compromise’ or ‘settled the matter’. Whether this settling happened with the consent of the woman or because she was pressurised ‘to save the family’ is not known.

Similarly, the recognition of sexual abuse as domestic violence in relationships, especially in marriages, Cialis Problems ebay, still needs to gain acceptance. Sex as a conjugal right of the man is a widely accepted patriarchal view. The study revealed that knowledge on the subject was low among participants and sexual abuse was alleged in few orders, Cialis Problems. The inclusion of sexual abuse in the Act which includes sex without consent is a breakthrough in Indian law. (Indian law did not recognise marital rape.)

This study will hopefully become an effective model to ensure implementation of the law and determine what areas need attention in sensitisation programs. Regular audit of the law and state functionaries influence states to adopt novel methods for better implementation and promote transparency and accountability through public forums.

Please refer to the report for a detailed discussion on the data gathered this year.

 .

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