Topic:Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
5) Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace and fulfilment of women and girls’ human rights. In the context of recent rape cases witnessed in the country discuss how the laws on rape and sexual crimes changed over the years in the country and what should be the way forward?(250 words)
Why this question:
After the rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad on November 28 and the burning of a rape survivor in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, on December 5, there has been an outcry for justice for the victims. Within and outside Parliament there has been a clamor to make the criminal justice system tougher on an offender committing sexual crimes against women and children.
Key demand of the question:
One must trace the evolution of the laws on rape and sexual crimes in the country and in what way they have changed over the years and what should be the way forward to ensure the country is free from incidence of such evils.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
In brief discuss the current system that is in place since the time of the rule of British.
Discuss the following aspects:
- Rape’ as a clearly defined offence was first introduced in the Indian Penal Code in 1860.
- The codification of Indian laws began with the enactment of the Charter Act, 1833 by the British Parliament which led to the establishment of the first Law Commission under the chairmanship of Lord Macaulay.
- The first Code of Criminal Procedure was enacted in 1861, which consolidated the law relating to the set-up of criminal courts and the procedure to be followed in the investigation and trial of the offence.
- Then move on to discuss and debate over the laws available currently; if the laws are gender neutral? Are the laws stricter and stringent now? Etc.
Conclude with what should be the way forward.