Judgements against Women – UPSC GS1

Facts:
  • India rated as the most dangerous country for women, as per Thomson Reuters Foundation survey 2018.
  • According to a National Crime Records Bureau report (2019) as many as 32,032 rapes were reported in 2019 (88 incidents of rape a day).
  • Every hour, 39 instances of crime against women including four instances of rape are committed in India.
Judgments lacking gender sensitivity:
  • Marital Rape Case:
    • SC granted bail to a government servant who is accused of repeated rape and torture of a 16-year-old child.
    • During this hearing, CJI questioned that “When two people are living as husband and wife, however brutal the husband is, can the act of intercourse between them be called rape?”
  • Unofficial forgiveness:
    • A few years ago, the supreme court orally asked a convict who had molested a girl 10 years ago to fall at her feet and that if she forgave him, the Court would limit his sentence of imprisonment to the period already undergone.
    • Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court also issued a similar order. It ordered that the sentence of the ‘rape convict can be cut if he agrees to pay ₹1 lakh to the victim.
  • Bhanwari Devi case (1995)
    •  Rajasthan court acquitted the accused. The reasons given were not gender sensitive at all such as
      • Higher caste man cannot rape a lower caste woman for reasons of purity
      • Men who are 60-70 years old cannot commit rape
      • One relative cannot commit rape in front of another relative
  • Not applying vermilion ground for divorce:
    • In 2020 the Guwahati High Court said that refusal of applying sindoor (vermilion) and wearing conch shell bangles (shaka) as sufficient basis to grant a divorce to the husband.
  • Narendra vs K. Meena (2016), the SC said that under Hindu traditions, a wife after marriage is supposed to fully integrate herself with her husband’s family.
    • Refusal of women to live with in-laws amounts to cruelty. Therefore, the husband would be entitled to divorce her under the Hindu Marriage Act.
  • Hadiya Case:
    • Court has intervened against the right of a woman to marry according to her will.
    • The woman’s father accused that she was forcefully converted to Islam. Though, Hadia had denied it repeatedly.
    • The court ordered an investigation by the National Investigation Agency for looking into the matter of marriage of two adults.