Please read.
The ordnance makes of mockery of all those recommendations of the Justice Verma committee that actually reflected the idea of protecting women’s autonomy: be it a 16-year old girl who has sexual contact with her boyfriend to a married woman who says no to her husband, the ordnance just fails to accept a woman’s own autonomy and consent as crucial to deciding if rape occurred or not! The ordnance continues to make excuses for certain powerful perpetrators of rape: it continues to ensure that certain institutions of power (marriage/police/army/judges/magistrates/public servants/politicians) remain protected from prosecution for rape.

The Bekhauf Azaadi Campaign Has Called for a Protest Against the Ordinance that makes a mockery of the Justice Verma Committee Recommendations on the 4th of February at 2 pm at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Join in large numbers. More protests to follow.

Guest post by BEKHAUF AZAADI CAMPAIGN

The UPA Govt, in a Cabinet meeting held on 1 February, has introduced an ordinance that it claims will address the most urgent concerns on sexual violence. In fact, the Government has been completely reluctant to acknowledge and implement the Justice Verma Committee recommendations: the PM refused to accept it from Justuce Verma, the Ministry of Home Affairs removed it from their website, the Govt never adopted any transparent process of discussion to decide the way forward on implementing the recommendations, rather they said Justice Verma ‘exceeded his brief’. Now, they claim that their ordinance has ‘implemented’ the Justice Verma recommendations. Is this true?

The fact is that the Government’s ordinance is a mockery of the letter and spirit of the Justice Verma recommendations. Why? Let us take a closer look.

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5 thoughts on “

  1. I agree with most of the article, but I found the first ‘objection’ absolutely ridiculous. There is no legal or ethical reason to not make sexual assault a gender neutral offense. Most jurisdictions in developed (and many not-so-developed) nations already do so. Women are indeed the majority when it comes to being the victims of the rape, but that is hardly a good reason to only extend protections to them. The idea that only men can be aggressors in the event of a sexual assault is not just factually incorrect but also archaic, regressive and (ironically) anti-feminist.

    As well, regarding the point about adolescent sexuality, I believe the Union Cabinet was merely adding conformity to previous law – the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act – which already outlaws any sexual contact with a minor, even when the said contact is initiated by another minor. Even if the ordinance is overturned, it would do nothing to ensure that 16 year olds can have sex with each other without being held criminally liable for a sexual offense.

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  2. This is from Feb 6, 2008,
    “The Law Commission has recommended that the age for sexual consent should be raised from 15 years to 16 years for girls, regardless of marriage.

    To remove confusion in such cases, the Commission wants deletion of a portion of section 375 of the IPC under which a man having sex with his wife over 15 years cannot be hauled up for rape.

    Elaborating on the Commission’s proposals on issues related to child marriages, the Law Commission’s member Kirti Uppal said the panel has proposed that the minimum age for sexual consent should be raised from 15 years to 16 years, regardless of marriage.

    Thus, if the proposal is accepted by the government, even consensual sex would invite punishment for those men who have sex with girls under 16 years of age.”
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2008-02-06/india/27753299_1_minor-girls-minor-wife-age-for-sexual-consent

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