NCW for making stalking of women a crime

The NCW favoured making "stalking" a crime, saying a separate penal code section for the purpose has been drafted by it and sent to the government for necessary action.

New Delhi: Amid increasing incidents of crimes
against women, especially in the capital, the NCW today
favoured making "stalking" a crime, saying a separate penal
code section for the purpose has been drafted by it and sent
to the government for necessary action.

"Stalking of women should be made a crime and a separate
section added to the IPC to combat it rather than clubbing the
offence with eve-teasing," NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said at
a press meet organised by the commission just before the
expiry of her six-year tenure.

She said the NCW had included such a provision in the
proposed sexual assault bill and has sent the draft of a new
proposed Section 509(B) of IPC to the Home Ministry.
According to the draft, any person who stalks a woman with
the intention to cause serious harm or injury to her or a
third person or apprehension or fear of serious harm or injury
to that woman or a third person shall be punished with
imprisonment of up to seven years or fine or both.

The issue of stalking recently hogged headlines after a
Delhi University student was killed in broad daylight outside
her college by a man who was stalking her for sometime.

Vyas said during a recent hearing in DU campus, students
raised the issues of installation of cameras, campus guards,
special buses and system of online complaint for their safety
and the police have agreed to most of them. Similar guidelines
are being issued to other institutions across the country.
Terming as tragic, the rise in incidents of violence
against women, she said proper implementation of laws, setting
up of fast track courts, gender-based education and training
of police personnel on gender issues can help.

On the proposed 24X7 call centre of NCW, she said it is in
process and added that at present too, reporting can be done

Sharing her experience as the Commission`s chief for the
last six years and elaborating on recent initiatives of NCW,
Vyas said the women`s commission should get "more teeth".

She dwelt on a number of recent recommendations and
schemes including those related to rehabilitation of rape
victims, combating indecent representation of women in
audio-visual media and internet and the bill to prevent honour
killing. A meeting of a Group of Ministers has already been
held on proposed anti-honour killing bill, she added.

The NCW has also recommended amendments in CrPC Section
125 regarding maintenance. It has proposed maintenance for
stepchild, adopted child and also any unmarried child who has
attained majority but is unable to maintain himself or herself
instead of earlier provision which said major children can get
maintenance if he or she has physical or mental abnormality.

It has recommended maintenance for women in "relationship
in the nature of marriage" (long live-in relation) but Vyas
admitted that there are "grey areas" involved in it.


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