Under Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, among others:
(a) a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;
(b) a victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;
(c) a woman or a child;
(d) a mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;
(e) a person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster; or
(f) an industrial workman, or persons earning less than Rs.50,OOO/- p.a. for legal aid before Supreme Court of India and to Rs.25,OOO/- p.a. for legal aid up to High Courts etc. For more details contact the nearest district court to meet the officials in the legal aid board. In cities like Delhi one may access information or legal advice by dialling 'legal aid help line' no. 011-3073132 (or) 3070345.
Section 2(1) (a) of the Act, provides for extension of free legal aid to a person for a 'case', which includes a suit or any proceeding before a court. Under Section 2(1) (a) the term 'court' connote a civil, criminal or revenue court and includes any tribunal or any other authority constituted under any law for the time being in force, to exercise judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
*(Except from: Guild of Service, New Delhi, Sadiq Ahmed Jilani Syed, Violence against Women – Legal Safeguards)
Yes, It is compulsory for each and every one of us to get the 'birth' and 'death' registered with the Registrar in accordance with the provisions of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969. For example the 'birth registration' certificate is compulsory for admitting a child in school and 'death' registration certificate is necessary for claiming lawful dues such as pension, insurance etc. If anyone fails to register the birth on time, He/she can still approach the Registrar or obtain an affidavit from the Magistrate in this regard.
Yes. Under section 3 of the MTP Act, it is compulsory to obtain the permission of the pregnant woman, except in cases where the pregnant woman is a minor or a lunatic, in which, guardian's consent is required.
Yes, The Indian Penal Code (1860), The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act (1971), The Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act (1994) prohibit illegal acts leading to female foeticide and infanticide and provide punishment to the perpetrators. The MTP Act permits medical termination of pregnancy by a Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) in limited circumstances such as, danger to the mother's life, substantial risk to the child being born, where pregnancy is the result of rape, failure of contraception etc.
Yes. Under section 509 of the Indian Penal Code(1860), eve-teasing is a punishable offence. Few States are taking measures to make this law more stringent and non-bailable. Besides, section 354 of IPC provides punishment for the acts relating to outraging the modesty of a woman.
Yes. According to Central Civil Service Rules formulated in accordance with the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 the female Government employees are entitled to maternity leave for a period of 135 days from the date of its commencement (in Punjab and Haryana women are entitled to maternity leave for 180 days). The Supreme Court recently in Municipal Corporation o/Delhi case (JT 2000 (3) SC 13), gave directions to the Government to extend these benefits also to women employees working on daily wages (muster roll).
The Government of India rules provide that "widows, divorced women and women judicially separated from their husbands who are not remarried are granted age relaxations in pursuing employment up to 35 years (up to 40 years for members of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes).
Yes. Under the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Equal Opportunities, (protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 the persons with disabilities are entitled to reservations in education and employment.
Yes. In pursuance of the recently enacted Constitution (Eighty-fifth Amendment) Act, 2002 persons belonging to SC/ST in employment are entitled to reservations in promotions as provided under Article 16 (4A) of the Constitution.
Yes. The Government of India Policy (see, O.M.No.14034/l0/86-Estt. (D) dated 5th June, 1986) provides that "as far as possible and within the constraints of administrative feasibility, the husband and wife should be posted at the same station to enable them to lead a normal family life and to ensure the education and welfare of their children."
Yes. In accordance with the Supreme Court directions in Pt. Parmanand Katara's case (AIR 1989 SC 20) it is obligatory for every doctor, be it in Government or private hospital to extend immediate medical aid to the accident victims without insisting on Police Report/Records. Besides, the Court in these series of cases, held the right to health care as a fundamental right of citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
"Section 375, Defines Rape as:- A man said to commit "rape" who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions:-
• First. - Against her will.
• Secondly. - Without her consent.
• Thirdly. - With her consent, when the consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
• Fourthly.- With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
•Sixthly. - With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.
Explanation - Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of rape.
Exception - Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape." Thus according to section 375 a man said to have committed the offence of rape if he had sexual intercourse with a female under sixteen years of age, with or without her consent; and with a woman in the following circumstances;
A. against her will; or
B. without her consent; or
C. with her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death, or of hurt (duress), or
•with her consent, given on account of her unsoundness of mind, or intoxication, when she is incapable of understanding the consequence of her consent, or
•with or without her consent when she is under 16 years of age. •with her consent by her husband when she is under 15 years of age.
•To constitute the offence of rape intercourse is not necessary, even a slight penetration is enough.
In Bodhisattva Gautam case (AIR 1996 SC 992) the Supreme Court while dealing with the case of a woman who alleged that the appellant induced her to have sexual intercourse with him by giving her false assurances of marriage and later secretly marrying her before God by putting vermilion on her forehead but after having impregnated her twice, compelling her to undergo abortion on both the occasions and ultimately abandoned her. The Court herein held that:
(i) the appellant was charged with committing various criminal offences under the Indian Penal Code and filed a petition to quash the proceedings. Fundamental rights can be enforced even against private bodies and individuals;
(ii) it is not necessary, for the exercise of the Supreme Court's jurisdiction under Art 32, that the person who is the victim of the violation of his or her fundamental right should personally approach the court. The court can itself take cognisance of the matter and proceed suo motu or on a petition of any public-spirited individual;
(iii) rape is a crime against basic human rights and is also violative of the victim's most cherished fundamental right, namely, the right to life;
(iv) the Supreme Court has, in any event, the inherent jurisdiction to pass any order it considers fit and proper in the interests of justice or in order to do complete justice between the parties;
(v) the court is prima facie satisfied as to the truth of the serious allegations made by the respondent and accordingly orders the appellant to pay to the respondent Rs 1000 every month as interim compensation (with arrears since the filing of the petition by the woman) pending the resolution of the criminal proceedings against him.
Yes. The Supreme Court in series of cases held it to be an act punishable under law. In Narasimha's case (1994 (2) Crimes 263 SC) where the victim was aged 16 years, held that the consent was of no help. Similarly in Bhupendra's case (1985 (l) Crimes 524) held that 'although the prosecutrix was a consenting party to the sexual intercourse, she being minor question of consent is wholly irrelevant. '
Yes. It is not only a grave violation of her personal human right to life and personal liberty but also an offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code. It was held by the Supreme Court that: "Even a woman of easy virtue is entitled to privacy and no one can invade her privacy as and when he likes. So also it is not open to any and every person to violate her person as and when he wishes. She is entitled to protect her person, if there is an attempt to violate it against her wish she is equally entitled to the protection of law. Therefore merely she is a woman of easy virtue her evidence cannot be thrown over bound".
For all criminal matters one should approach the police without delay. Being a woman you can approach the legal aid and advice board functioning in all the district courts and seek legal advice. If you find any difficulty or unreasonable delays in redressal of your grievances you may seek legal opinion locally or may write to the National or State Commissions for Women, Human Rights, Minorities etc
Yes. The Supreme Court guidelines in Vishaka case (1997 (6) SCC 240) would be binding and enforceable in law until suitable legislation is enacted to occupy the field. (The text of the Supreme Court guidelines is given at page 36).
Such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as:
• physical contact and advances;
• a demand or request for sexual favours;
• sexually coloured remarks;
• showing pornography;
• any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
These guidelines are applicable to all the establishments where women work. Under Article 142 of the Constitution of India any decree so passed or order so made by the Supreme Court shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe. Further, Article 141 mandates that "the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all the courts within the territory of India".
Yes. These guidelines are applicable to Government, Public Sector and Private employments and irrespective of the fact of receiving a complaint of sexual harassment, it is obligatory for every employer to constitute a Committee and also have a section on sexual harassment update in the Annual Report of the Organization.
Yes. Where such conduct amounts to a specific offence under the Indian Penal Code or under any other law, it is obligatory for the employer to initiate appropriate action in accordance with law by making a complaint with the appropriate authority.
Once you submit the complaint to the employer it will be the responsibility of the employer to take up your matter and defend your case. It is also the responsibility of the employer to engage a lawyer to defend the Institution and also the women's case in case if the harasser approaches the court. If you want to talk to a lawyer, contact your local Legal Aid and Advice Board functioning in every district court wherein being a woman you are entitled to avail free legal aid and advice irrespective of your financial status.