Indecent Representation of Women Act, 1986 – UPSC GS1

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has proposed to ban obscene depiction of women on the Internet and through SMS/MMS by amending the Indecent Representation of Women Act, 1986.
  • The Ministry has also suggested that stricter punishments be awarded for such crimes on par with those recommended under the IT Act, 2008.
  • The Ministry has proposed amendment in definition of the term advertisement to include digital form or electronic form or hoardings, or through SMS, MMS, etc.
  • It has also proposed setting up a Central authority under the National Commission of Women, which will include representatives from the Advertising Standards Council of India, the Press Council of India, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and one member with experience of working on women’s issues.
Indecent Representation of Women Act, 1986
  • It was enacted to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisement or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner.
  • The IRW Act provides for punishment of up to two years in jail for an offence committed for the first time and imprisonment of six months to five years for a second conviction.
  • Sections 67 and 67A of the IT Act lay down a punishment of three to five years for circulating obscene material and five to seven years for circulating sexually explicit material respectively.

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