Law on adultery punishing only men – Under SC Scanner

 

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine the constitutional validity of a colonial-era law on adultery which punishes only the man even though the woman, with whom he has had consensual sex, may be an equal partner.

The top court also said if the husband gives consent for sexual intercourse between his wife and another man, then it nullifies the offence of adultery and turns the woman into a commodity, which goes against the principle of gender justice and the constitutional mandate of right to equality.

Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code states that “whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery”.

The offence of adultery entails punishment of up to five years in jain or fine or with both. However, in such cases, the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud termed the provision a “prima facie archaic” and said this “tantamounts to subordination of a woman where the Constitution confers equal status”.

“A time has come when the society must realise that a woman is equal to a man in every field. This provision, prima facie, appears to be quite archaic. When the society progresses and the rights are conferred, the new generation of thoughts spring, and that is why, we are inclined to issue notice,” the bench said.

It said it would examine the constitutional validity of the 157-year-old provision and issued notice to the Centre, seeking its response in four weeks.

The court said it needs to examine why a married woman, who may have been an equal partner to the offence of adultery with a married man who is not her husband, should not be punished along with the man.

Secondly, the bench said it will examine if the husband of a woman gives his consent or connives for sexual intercourse with another married man, then does it not turn her into a commodity.

“Prima facie, on a perusal of Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, we find that it grants relief to the wife by treating her as a victim. It is also worthy to note that when an offence is committed by both of them, one is liable for criminal offence but the other is absolved,” it said.

The top court said the provision seems to be based on a “societal presumption” and ordinarily, the criminal law proceeds on gender neutrality but in this case, “as we perceive, the said concept is absent”.

“That apart, it is to be seen when there is conferment of any affirmative right on women, can it go to the extent of treating them as the victim, in all circumstances, to the peril of the husband,” the bench said.

It said when the provision is perceived from the language employed in the section, then the “fulcrum of the offence is destroyed once the consent or the connivance of the husband is established”.

“Viewed from the said scenario, the provision really creates a dent on the individual, independent identity of a woman when the emphasis is laid on the connivance or the consent of the husband”, it said.

During the hearing, Justice Chandrachud observed that at present, the law assumes a “patronising attitude” towards the woman and treats her as a victim which amounts to violation of a fundamental right and gender discrimination.

Advocates Kaleeswaram Raj and Suvidutt M S, appearing for petitioner Joseph Shine, an Indian citizen but residing in Italy, said section 497 was “prima facie unconstitutional on the ground that it discriminates against men and violates Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of”.

He said “when the sexual intercourse takes place with the consent of both the parties, there is no good reason for excluding one party from the liability”.

 

The lawyer said the provision also indirectly discriminates against women by holding an erroneous presumption that they are the property of men.

“This is further evidenced by the fact that if adultery is engaged with the consent of the husband of the woman, then such act seizes to be an offence punishable under the code,” he told the bench.

He said the said provisions have been treated to be constitutionally valid in three verdicts of the apex court in 1954, 1985 and in 1988.

Raj said that petitioner has also challenged the Section 198(2) of CrPC, which deals with prosecution for offences against marriages.

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School asks parents to pick and drop girls! Psychologists must come forward to curb this sexual perversion in the society!!

Representational image

 

 

The La Martiniere For Girls school in Kolkata has banned pool cars for the students and has asked the parents to pick and drop their kids from next month. The development came a few days after a kindergarten student at a top school in Ranikuthi in Kolkata was sexually assaulted by a teacher inside a toilet. The teacher allegedly lured the 4-year-old and took her to the toilet where he reportedly physically abused her.

Even as the CISCE board asked all the schools to install CCTV cameras within two weeks, some of the schools have installed their own safety measures. La Martiniere For Girls is one of them.

The school has issued a notice to all the parents urging them to personally pick and drop their children. Although the school has banned pool cars, it said that even if the parents arrange pool cars for their children, they have to make sure that each child is accompanied by a family member.

“Either the mother or father of the child will drop her and pick her up from January 16, next year,” Rupkatha Sarkar, Principal, La Martiniere for Girls, was quoted as saying by PTI.

Not just pool cars, the escort must also carry an authorization letter with a picture and signature as identity proof.

A 4-year-old student was sexually and physically abused on December 1 by a male teacher in a top Kolkata school’s toilet. When the child returned home, her mother noticed blood stains all over her school uniform. Th kid was also found bleeding from her private parts.

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Crowd funding for Acid Victims by NGOs

 

Having completed treatment, Lalita is now happily married

 

mid-day exclusive Zakira Shaikh is not the only acid attack victim who feels exploited by the NGO Make Love Not Scars. After mid-day’s report on the matter, yet another victim has come forward with allegations that the NGO used his patient’s picture and story to raise funds without consent. What’s more, neither the patient nor the hospital got a single penny from the money raised by the NGO.

Five years ago, Lalita Benbansi, 25, suffered nearly 80 per cent burns after her 15-year-old cousin threw acid on her after a petty argument. The Asangaon resident’s father supported the entire family on a salary of Rs 3,000, and the family could not afford to pay for treatment. At the time, Dr Ashok Gupta had provided full treatment to her free of charge at Bombay Hospital. This included 65 reconstructive surgeries.

 

However, Dr Gupta says he was surprised when he came across a crowdfunding campaign by Make Love Not Scars, claiming to raise funds for Lalita’s treatment. Neither he nor Lalita had been informed about this, nor had they received the $1,718 (approximately Rs 1.1 lakh) collected by the NGO.

‘Didn’t get any money’
“Ria Sharma’s NGO, Make Love Not Scars, did not give a single rupee to the hospital that provided quality treatment to the victim free of cost. It is their regular practice to collect money in the name of acid attack victims and not to transfer the full amount to the hospital carrying out the treatment,” said Dr Gupta.

After multiple surgeries, Lalita’s face was reconstructed and she got back on her feet. She is now happily married. She told mid-day, “I was not aware that money was raised in my name. I did not get any money. People should not play with the emotions of victims.”

Investigate the NGO
The matter is currently being investigated by the Byculla police, after Zakira’s family submitted a written complaint to them. Dr Gupta, who is a Padmashri awardee, said he is ready to provide details of Lalita’s case to the cops as well, demanding that the culprits be booked.

In June, Dr Gupta had also written to the charity commissioner in New Delhi, seeking his intervention in the matter. He wrote: “While surfing the Internet, I came across the NGO Make Love Not Scars, claiming to have collected a huge sum of money in US dollars towards the treatment of these patients. I was surprised to read the names of two patients who were treated by me at Bombay Hospital, for whom the NGO had raised $9,000 and $1,500.”

He suggested that there should be strict monitoring of such donations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Dr Gupta also wrote to Vijaya Rahatkar, chairperson of the state women’s rights commission on the matter.

‘Dr Gupta is credit-hungry’
Ria Sharma, founder of Make Love Not Scars, rubbished the allegations levelled by Dr Ashok Gupta, saying he is hungry for credit. She said, “Dr Gupta had told me that he was looking for financial aid for Lalita. He sent me her details and photographs, which were later used to raise money through crowdfunding. I have email evidence to show Dr Gupta is lying. That money is still with Indiegogo (the crowdfunding platform) and we have not used it for our own purpose.”

Asked why the funds were not transferred to Lalita, Sharma said, “A few things went wrong between me and Dr Gupta; he did not take my phone call, and hence, the money was never transferred.” Sharma added, “Dr Gupta is a credit-hungry person. He is targeting me for no reason.”

Sharma hit back at Dr Gupta, stating that he has withheld funds they raised for another victim, Reshma Qureshi. Qureshi told mid-day, “Dr Gupta is not polite with his patients and he has not released the Rs 2 lakh that was raised for my treatment. I need the funds for an eye operation.”

Not all experiences are bad
Who: Sushmita Murthy, 30, writer
Funds for: Heart surgery
Platform: Ketto
The process of making an account on Ketto was easy. Once I submitted the necessary documents, my campaign was live in two days. I raised Rs 1.04 lakh in five days. Since the patient needed the funds urgently, I shut down the campaign prematurely. The donations that came in rupees got transferred to my account in a couple of weeks. The foreign currency came by cheque and took a lot longer to process. I got a notification every time someone donated, so I could keep tabs on how much money was being raised. In the end, Ketto took a cut of 8-10 per cent as mentioned on the site. – As told to Aastha Atray Banan

Rs 3 lakh
The compensation awarded by the state government for acid attack survivors

55%
Portion of the total donations raised that Ketto had withheld from Shabbo Shaikh

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No Annual Returns For 2015-16 From Over 4,000 Institutions

No Annual Returns For 2015-16 From Over 4,000 Institutes, Data Shows

 

Indian Institute of Management-Kolkata, Aligarh Muslim University and Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College for Women are among 4,739 institutions and non-profit organisations that have not disclosed their funding and expenditure details for 2015-16, according to the Home Ministry.

According to documents accessed by PTI, the 4,739 institutions and voluntary organisations have not filed annual returns for 2015-16 — and so the government does not know their annual income and expenditure details for this period.

All these institutions and voluntary organisations are registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, or FCRA and it is a must for them to file returns every year.

Other institutions that have not filed returns for 2015-16 include IIM-Lucknow, Delhi College of Engineering, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, and Indira Gandhi National Centre For Arts, both in Delhi.

Vivekananda Foundation in Mysuru, Islamic University of Science and Technology in Jammu and Kashmir, and Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Himachal Pradesh also appear in the list.

The government has tightened the rules for foreign funding of non-profit organisations and has cancelled the registration of over 10,000 NGOs in the last three years. The government has alleged these organisations have not filed annual returns as is required under FCRA.

The licences of over 1,300 NGOs have not been renewed for allegedly violating the funding transparency law. The Home Ministry has asked some 6,000 NGOs to open accounts in banks having real-time banking systems so that security agencies can immediately access their details if needed.

In November 2016, the government had told over 11,000 NGOs to renew their registration by February 28, 2017. But many of them did not do so.

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List of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women

#1 Angela Merkel 63 Germany Politics
#2 Theresa May 61 United Kingdom Politics
#3 Melinda Gates 53 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#4 Sheryl Sandberg 48 United States Technology
#5 Mary Barra 55 United States Automotive
#6 Susan Wojcicki 49 United States Technology
#7 Abigail Johnson 55 United States Finance and Investments
#8 Christine Lagarde 61 France Economy
#9 Ana Patricia Botín 57 Spain Finance and Investments
#10 Ginni Rometty 60 United States Technology
#11 Indra Nooyi 62 United States Diversified
#12 Meg Whitman 61 United States Technology
#13 Angela Ahrendts 57 United States Technology
#14 Laurene Powell Jobs 53 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#15 Tsai Ing-wen 61 Taiwan Politics
#16 Michelle Bachelet 66 Chile Politics
#17 Federica Mogherini 44 Italy Politics
#18 Safra Catz 55 United States Technology
#19 Ivanka Trump 36 United States Politics
#20 Adena Friedman 48 United States Finance and Investments
#21 Oprah Winfrey 63 United States Media & Entertainment
#22 Marillyn Hewson 63 United States Manufacturing
#23 Isabelle Kocher 50 France Energy
#24 U.S. Supreme Court Justices United States Politics
#25 Ruth Porat 59 United States Technology
#26 Queen Elizabeth II 91 United Kingdom Politics
#27 Anna Wintour 68 United States Media & Entertainment
#28 Ho Ching 64 Singapore Diversified
#29 Emma Walmsley 48 United Kingdom
#30 Sheikh Hasina Wajed 70 Bangladesh Politics
#31 Beata Maria Szydlo 54 Poland Politics
#32 Chanda Kochhar 55 India Diversified
#33 Aung San Suu Kyi 72 Myanmar Politics
#34 Lucy Peng 44 China Technology
#35 Pollyanna Chu 59 Hong Kong Finance and Investments
#36 Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi 55 United Arab Emirates Politics
#37 Amy Hood 45 United States Technology
#38 Jacinda Ardern 37 Politics
#39 Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic 49 Croatia Politics
#40 Jean Liu 39 China Technology
#41 Bonnie Hammer 67 United States Media & Entertainment
#42 Nicola Sturgeon 47 United Kingdom Politics
#43 Nikki Haley 45 United States Politics
#44 Rosalind Brewer 54 United States Diversified
#45 Gina Rinehart 63 Australia Metals & Mining
#46 Erna Solberg 56 Norway Politics
#47 Stacey Snider 56 United States Media & Entertainment
#48 Phebe Novakovic 59 United States Diversified
#49 Elvira Nabiullina 54 Russia Finance and Investments
#50 Beyoncé Knowles 36 United States Media & Entertainment
#51 Peng Liyuan 54 China Politics
#52 Margarita Simonyan 37 Russia Media & Entertainment
#53 Mary Callahan Erdoes 50 United States Finance and Investments
#54 Qunfei Zhou 47 Hong Kong Technology
#55 Thi Phuong Thao Nguyen 47 Vietnam Diversified
#56 Lisa Davis 54 United States
#57 Roshni Nadar Malhotra 36 India Technology
#58 Güler Sabanci 62 Turkey Diversified
#59 Lubna S. Olayan 62 Saudi Arabia Diversified
#60 Dana Walden 53 United States Media & Entertainment
#61 Katharine Viner 45 United Kingdom Media & Entertainment
#62 Feng Ying Wang China Automotive
#63 Donna Langley 49 United Kingdom Media & Entertainment
#64 Marianne Lake 48 United Kingdom Finance and Investments
#65 Hillary Clinton 70 United States Politics
#66 Mingzhu Dong 63 Manufacturing
#67 Melanie Kreis 46 Germany
#68 Dalia Grybauskaite 61 Lithuania Politics
#69 Priscilla Chan 32 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#70 Gwynne Shotwell 53 United States Construction & Engineering
#71 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw 64 India Healthcare
#72 Zanny Minton Beddoes United Kingdom Media & Entertainment
#73 Miuccia Prada 68 Italy Fashion & Retail
#74 Isabel dos Santos 44 Angola Finance and Investments
#75 Solina Chau 55 Hong Kong Technology
#76 Lam Wai Ying Hong Kong Manufacturing
#77 Kathleen Kennedy United States Media & Entertainment
#78 Kersti Kaljulaid 47 Estonia Politics
#79 Arianna Huffington 67 United States Media & Entertainment
#80 Judy Faulkner 74 United States Technology
#81 Fabiola Gianotti 57 Italy Philanthropy/NGO
#82 Lynn Good United States Energy
#83 Geisha Williams United States
#84 Mary Meeker 58 United States Finance and Investments
#85 Taylor Swift 27 United States All Star Alumni
#86 Patricia Harris 61 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#87 Drew Gilpin Faust 70 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#88 J.K. Rowling 52 United Kingdom
#89 Eliza Manningham-Buller 69 United Kingdom Philanthropy/NGO
#90 Raja Easa Al Gurg United Arab Emirates Diversified
#91 Debra Cafaro United States Real Estate
#92 Shobhana Bhartia 60 India Media & Entertainment
#93 Lee Boo-Jin 47 South Korea Service
#94 Jenny Lee 45 Singapore Finance and Investments
#95 Kirsten Green 45 United States Finance and Investments
#96 Belinda Johnson 50 United States Technology
#97 Priyanka Chopra 35 India
#98 Kathryn Petralia 47 United States Finance and Investments
#99 Anne Finucane United States Finance and Investments
#100 Beth Brooke-Marciniak 58 United States Diversified

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