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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. The second looks at Eve Teasing under Civil Law.

We now look at Eve Teasing punishment in India in Criminal Laws

Very fairly speaking that in the Indian Penal Code, the word ‘eve-teasing’ does not exist. Eve teasing is an attitude, a mindset, a set of behaviours that is construed as an insult and an act of humiliation of the female sex. However, victims of eve teasing could take recourse to certain sections of the IPC.

The non-penetration sexual assault, under the section 354 of the Penal Code, is punishable with a maximum term of two years imprisonment of either description, or with fine, or with both.
eve teasing

Section 354. Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty

Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Punishment—Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both—Cogniza¬ble—Bailable—Triable by any Magistrate—Non-compoundable.

Section 509- Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman- whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

III. Section 294- Obscene acts and songs Whoever , to the annoyance of others-

a) Does any obscene act in any public place, or

b) Sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place,

shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, with fine , or with both.

Being very fair to my readers of this Blog I as a lawyer should clarify that these sections make gestures or acts intended to insult the modesty of a woman or acts intrude upon her privacy a, crime, but it is very difficult to exploit these provisions to deal with various expressions of sexual harassment. Eve Teasing punishment in India under provisions of these sections of law and the procedural laws are complex and the type of proof that is required make it very difficult to get the culprit punished.

Conclusion

Eveteasing is a wrong against the honour, dignity and self respect of a woman. It hurts her at the core of soul.We need a strong combating for this fast growing problem.

So, I strongly recommend a strong and tough law either in civil or criminal, for the strong punishment of the Eve teasers.

I would also to say country like India where we are worshipping the woman like Gods, the behaviour is morally unjust. We should learn to respect woman and the Class starts at Home.

~ Fazal Ahmad

Follow him on Twitter @fzlsammy

Update: Since this article was written, there have been efforts to get more stringent laws passed after the Delhi Gang Rape case in which a medical student was brutally gang raped and fatally injured. This is a work in progress for India.

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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

Follow him on Twitter @fzlsammy

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Fighting Eve-teasing: rights and remedy

Nature has given women so much power that the Law has given them very little. Samuel Johnson

The Term Eve Teasing used to refer to sexual harassment of women in public places such as streets, public, transportation, park and many places of social meetings. This type of public harassment by a man or a gang on women such as verbal assault as showing obscene gestures, winking, whistling and staring and also the physical assault such as pinching or rubbing against women in public places. It also includes many more things which have the definition under preview of word obscene or violence.

Women are often criticised for 'inviting' molesters by way of their 'seductive' way of dress and make-up. But this theory collapses in the face of rustic, illiterate and poor village women who cannot afford to dress seductively. What does 'seductive' dressing mean? Who decides what is 'seductive' dressing and what is not?

Another myth says that girls ought not to step out after dark and if they have gone out, they ought to come home before it is too dark. It is implied that the victims are perhaps to blame for men teasing, stalking and molesting them; this thinking is itself rooted in patriarchy. So, from childhood, parents bring up their sons and daughters by two completely different rules of censorship on their movements outside the house – geographically and in terms of time – one set of rules for boys and one set of rules for girls. The same 'logic' applies in mixed sex schools in India. Violence thrives in the victim's acceptance of the victimiser's moral right, social superiority and physical power.

Eve-teasing has been a notoriously difficult crime to prove, as perpetrators often devise ingenious ways to attack women, even though many feminist writers term it as “little rapes” and usually occur in public places, streets, and public transport.

Eve Teasing – Why?

Many psychologists believe that sex, love or fun is not the only motive that men indulge in this behaviour. Eve teasing is closely related to the patriarchal mindset of the Indian male. Men are raised to believe that they are more powerful physically and emotionally than women. They feel that they are doing nothing wrong just having some fun. Women on the other hand are made to feel vulnerable and the weaker sex.

Teachers of psychology and social scientists believe eve teasing to be a result of the frustrations suffered by a majority of youth. Disappointed by the unbecoming attitude of teachers and indifferent parents , they yearn for an outlet to vent their aggression and depression .Besides , many who do not inherit good values tend to indulge in acts of sexual harassment.

Eve teasing can be seen as a rite of passage for boys on their way to becoming men. Considering that sex is not the only motive, it would be reasonable to conclude that the psychodynamics of eve teasing are closely linked to the issue of masculinity and the masculine agenda.

Let Us Now Examine Eve Teasing in the Eyes of Law

The Question arise here is whether it falls under Civil wrong or criminal wrong?

To understand laws about Eve Teasing continue reading about Eve Teasing under Civil Law and Eve Teasing under Criminal Law

~ Fazal Ahmad

Follow him on Twitter @fzlsammy