Crime Against Woman

Although women may be victims of any of the general crimes such as ‘murder’, ‘robbery’, cheating’, etc, only the crimes which are directed specifically against women are characterised as ‘crimes against women’. Various new legislations have been brought and amendments have been made in existing laws with a view to handle these crimes effectively. These are broadly classified under two categories.

1. Crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC):

(i) Rape (Sec. 376 IPC)

(ii) Kidnapping & abduction for specified purposes (Sec. 363 - 373 IPC)

(iii) Homicide for dowry, dowry deaths or their attempts (Sec.302/304-B IPC)

(iv) Torture - both mental and physical (Sec. 498-A IPC)

(v) Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (Sec. 354 IPC)

(vi) Insult to the modesty of women (Sec. 509 IPC)

(vii) Importation of girl from foreign country (upto 21 years of age) (Sec. 366-B IPC)

2. Crimes under the Special & Local Laws (SLL)

(i) Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956

(ii) Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

(iii) Commission of Sati Prevention Act, 1987

(iv) Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986

Nirbhaya Act: This new Act has expressly recognised certain acts as offences which were dealt under related laws. These new offences like, acid attack, sexual harassment, voyeurism, stalking have been incorporated into the Indian Penal Code:

Section Offence Punishment
   326A    Acid attack    Imprisonment not less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and with fine which shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and it shall be paid to the victim
   326B    Attempt to Acid attack    Imprisonment not less than five years but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine
   354A    Sexual harassment    Rigorous imprisonment up to five years, or with fine, or with both in case of offence described in clauses (i) & (ii) Imprisonment up to one year, or with fine, or with both in other cases
   354B    Act with intent to disrobe a woman    Imprisonment not less than three years but which may extend to seven years and with fine.
   354C    Voyeurism    In case of first conviction, imprisonment not less than one year, but which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine, and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than three years, but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
   354D    Stalking    Imprisonment not less than one year but which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine