Pune Mirror:—Make rape law gender neutral: men’s group
MRA says proposed changes to rape laws are extreme; could be used to blackmail, harass men
Even as women’s organisations demand no-holds barred punishment for rapists, men are coming out with their own take on the issue. Pune-based group Men’s Right Association (MRA) has sent a list of suggestions to the three-member committeeheadedbyformerChiefJusticeofIndiaJ S Verma has been set up to amend laws in sexual assault cases.
The MRA claims that certain provisions in the proposed laws are extreme and could lead to the law being grossly misused. Atit Rajpara, founder-president, MRA, said, “The Central governmentandwomen’sgroupsplantoamend rape laws which we support. We want the death penalty for rapists, even if it isn’t a case of rape and murder. However, some of the proposals are extreme and can be used to harass men.”
Rajpara added, “All references to ‘man’ or ‘woman’ must be replaced with ‘person’ or ‘whosoever’ ‘Husband and ‘wife’ must be replaced with ‘spouse’. We alsowantthatrelationshipormaritaldisputes should not be included in a sexual assault case as they are covered under the Domestic Violence Act.”
“Most importantly, we would like the commitee to recommend that rape laws be made gender neutral, so a rape accused is punished regardless of gender, caste or religion. However, the government and women’s groups are not ready to do this,” he said.
TheMRAsentintheirlistonJanuary2 and have also started a mass email campaign to spread awareness.
GOVT, WOMEN’S GROUPS PROPOSE
» Punishment for rape accused should be hanging till death, presently the death penalty stands only for rape and murder
» Chemical castration for accused
» Accused must prove that he has not committed the rape, the victim does not need to give any proof or even a medical test. The victim only has to claim that she has been raped and whoever she nameds will be arrested immediately and not get bail till the case is over, irrespective of how long it goes on » As soon as the victim files the case, regardless of whether it is true or false, she will get a minimum of Rs 2 lakh with a first instalment of Rs 50,000 available immediately
» A rape victim will get a government job
» In a marital dispute, the wife can file a rape charge on her husband along with Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and the husband will have no defence.
» There should be no punishment for women making false rape or gang rape charges.
» Rape laws should not be misused as the Domestic Violence Act often is. The law should not become a means of blackmail and extortion » Rape laws should be made gender neutral
» Cases of infidelity in a relationship should not be converted into rape cases
» False complaints of rape should be punished severely, so that genuine cases like Jyoti Singh Pandey get justice.
» Introduce police and judicial reforms for speedier justice and to increase conviction rates in rape cases
» Men should allowed to file rape cases
» There are several cases where the woman consents to a sexual relationship, but later changes her mind, saying she was drunk, under threat or that the man promised to marry her or promised her a job. Such cases should not be termed as rape
ATIT RAJPARA, FOUNDER-PRESIDENT, MRA