crimes against women Current Affairs - 2020

First Disha Police Station inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh to work on violence against women

On February 8, 2020, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy inaugurated the first Disha Police Station. The police stations are first of their kind in the state and will deal with crimes against women.

Highlights

The Andhra Pradesh Government is to inaugurate 18 Disha Police Stations by the end of February 2020. Every police station is to add 26 to 47 police officers. The 18 Disha police stations will act as upgraded versions of existing women police stations. The stations have been allocated fund of 30% of special allowance. The stations are established under Disha act, 2019.

Disha Act

In December 2019, the Andhra Pradesh Government passed the Disha Bill, 2019. The bill aims to complete investigation of cases related to crimes against women within 7 to 14 days. It also prescribes death penalty under Section 376 of IPC (Indian Penal Code).

Also, the act punishes crimes against children with 10 to 14 years of imprisonment.

Background

The act was passed after a 26-year-old veterinarian was brutally raped and murdered in Telangana.

Group of Ministers report on legal framework to prevent sexual harassment

On January 19, 2020, the Group of Ministers headed by Home Minister Amit Shah finalized its report to change the legal framework that will help prevent sexual harassment of women at work places.

Highlights

The Group of Ministers was constituted in October 2018 after the “Me Too” campaign. The group was reconstituted under the Home Minster in July 2019. Apart from this, the GoI is also working on a project to change the IPC (Indian Penal Code) that was introduced during British rule in 1860. The ministers have recommended to strengthen the laws.

Referrals of the report

The report is predominantly based on the following

  • Vishaka guidelines issued by Supreme Court in 1997. It is be noted that the Sexual Harassment of Women and Workplace, 2013 was constituted based on Vishaka guidelines
  • Justice J.S, Verma Committee recommendations. The committee was constituted in the awake of Nirbhaya Gang Rape and murder in 2012
  • Verma Committee-The Committee recommended employment tribunal instead of ICC.

Significance

According to NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau), in 2017 and 2018, the number of sexual harassments of women at work premises were 479 and 401 respectively. The cases were registered under IPC Section 509 and were highest in cities such as Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Mumbai.