Eve Teasing under Civil Law
This article is second in a part of a three article series on Eve Teasing by Fazal Ahmad. The first part outlined the description and impact of eve teasing.
This civil wrong is other than a mere breach of contract or breach of trust. This wrong is redressible by an action for unliquidated damages.
Eve teasing is a civil wrong. The eve teaser causes injury to the plaintiff which in turn affects her both physically and mentally. It is an unlawful infringement on the victim’s privacy and person. She is tortured in the process. It also hampers her peace and happiness. It, in other words, curtails her right to enjoy her life and be happy.Eve teasing is neither a breach of contract nor a breach of trust. It is an encroachment on a woman’s right and her dignity.
Eve teasing is an unexpected incident. There is no question of a contract in it. Thus, its remedy is unliquidated damages which are to be decided by the courts according to the gravity of the injury caused. The courts can also provide a remedy in the form of injunction and detention also. This would force the eve teasers to at least think thrice before they indulge in such Torts and its basic guiding principle of ibi Jus Ubi Remedia i.e. where there is a violation of a legal right, there has to be some relief, compensation and remedy for the victim.
This part is very important for many reasons.
Firstly, it gives relief to the victim as she can recover the loss caused to her.
Secondly, it gives the victim immense satisfaction to see the eve teaser punished and admonished. She develops a sense of satisfaction, happiness and regains her confidence and self esteem.
Thirdly, it gives a strict warning to the eve teasers so that they do not indulge in this heinous practice. It, thus , strongly condemns the practice of eve teasing.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court In Vishakha V. State Of Rajasthan AIR 1997 SC 3011 has set out the guideline for the Woman working at the work places.
This case saw the formulation of the sexual harassment of women at workplace (prevention) bill drafted by the National Commission for Women. It provides for some stern measures to curb the menace of sexual harassment of women at work place.
The bill which defines sexual harassment which includes any act of verbal or gestural sexual advances , sexually explicit or derogatory remarks or statements, unwelcome sexually determined behaviour such as avoidable physical contact and advances, touching, patting, whistling, pinching, whistling, staring, sexually slanting and obscene jokes, suggestive remarks, compromising invitation, use of pornographic material, demand for sexual favours, threats, innuendoes, physical assault and molestation.
Staring and simple comments on the physical appearance of your female colleagues can land you behind bars for as many as five years and with a fine of Rs.20 000.
With the enactment of this act , there has been certainly a decrease in the number of sexual harassment. This act has proved itself to be a strong weapon in the hands of women to prevent sexual harassment and combat it.
In my opinion this case law helped a lot to the woman who was sexually assaulted or eve teased in offices and other places.
To find out about Eve Teasing under Criminal Law in India, read on…
~ Fazal Ahmad
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