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Most Potent Law for Protection of Women PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hanumant's Law Journal   
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 01:57

The most potent law for protection of women

Recent incidents of rape and sexual assault have completely destroyed whatever confidence general public had in police. As if that was not enough, the callous attitude of bystanders and onlookers, who made an exhibit of the grievously injured girl and her friend, has put a question mark on humanity itself.

It is easy to blame people who do not come to help but there is a reason for everything.

One reason that comes to my mind is that whenever we see things such as a mob beating a person, or a woman being assaulted by goons, an eve teasing incident or any such injustice, we are too afraid ourselves to do anything. We stand there or walk away thinking what can I do anyway. To a certain extent it is true too. You know that the perpetrators of the crime not only exceed in number but may also carry lethal weapons. The only person who you know for sure does not have a weapon is you! You know that. The perpetrators know that. You know that you are a sitting duck if you try to be hero. We can't blame a duck for walking away, can we?

But you don't have to be a duck. My intention here is not to argue that everyone should have a gun - which may not be such a terrible idea, btw - but to bring to your attention the existing legal framework that gives you the right to apply necessary force required to save yourself, your friend, or any fellow human being. You should know that the law permits you to even apply deadly force. In short, it permits you to even kill the perpetrators in situations like the ones mentioned above.

These provisions are given by the Indian Penal Code. The first and foremost of these provisions is given in Section 96 of Indian Penal Code. It says, "Nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of the right of private defence." 

Next, Section 97 explains what private defence is. It says that every person has a right to defend his own body, and the body of any other person, against any offence affecting the human body or any offence affecting the property, whether movable or immovable, of himself or of any other person, against any act which is an offence falling under the definition of theft, robbery, mischief or criminal trespass, or which is an attempt to commit theft, robbery, mischief or criminal trespass.

The issue here is that even a small altercation snowballs into a life threatening situation. Usually, the perpetrators have nothing to lose and they immediately start brandishing guns and knives. What can you do about that? Section 100 is tailor made for such situations. It extends the right of private defence of the body to the voluntary causing of death or of any other harm to the assailant. Briefly, it applies in any case where you have a reasonable belief that you or the one you are trying to save will be physically grievously injured, sexually assaulted, or kidnapped. 

You might have recently seen a video where a pack of goons were ransacking a restaurant because the owner refused to serve them free food. The assault was shocking. It very clearly proves that there is no law for these type of people. These people act so brazenly precisely because they know that no one can do anything at that moment. If anything will happens, it will happen only after they voluntarily stop their mayhem. At the most the police will hold them up for a few hours. So the equation is, you lose your life and livelihood and they lose a few hours of their lives. They know that there is no force in the world that can physically hurt them or rob them of their lives if they continue their assault at that very moment. Indeed, why would a pack of hyenas be afraid of attacking a sheep?

It does not have to be that way. Section 103 extends the right of private defence to voluntarily causing death of the assailant in precisely such situations. You may apply deadly force while preventing a Robbery, House-breaking by night, Mischief by fire committed on any building used as a human dwelling, and Theft, mischief, or house-trespass, under such circumstances as may reasonably cause apprehension that death or grievous hurt will be the consequence.

From the above provisions it is clear that you have the right to protect yourself and your loved ones whichever way you can. So if you find yourself into such situation...you know what to do!

It is indeed surprising that in spite of bearing all these atrocities we have not taken up arms to protect ourselves. I have no idea what makes people think that some Singham will come and save their daughters from these rapists. Please don't laugh it off thinking these things happen only to other people. It could be you, it could be woman in your life. Please don't think that we will prevent such crimes by not letting women go out in the night. If today we stop going out in the night, tomorrow we will have to stop going out in the day. It will not be long before we have to keep women within four walls all the time. It will not end until we keep tolerating these people.

Comments (15)
  • panickar  - Police decision making balance
    When a police officer or person in power receives complaint/grievance, he has to take ONE fundamental decision whether to sincerely act on the complaint or NOT. The balance of decision flows as follows.

    1. Act sincerely - consequences
    a. take down complaint/grievance
    b. Hard work investigate, seek seek punishment for guilty.
    Act sincerely - results
    i. Only Salary
    ii. Hard work

    2. Do NOT Act sincerely - consequences
    a. take down complaint/grievance ... if insisted
    b. NO investigation no hard work
    c. Demand bribe from accused regularly to extend his dates

    Do NOT Act sincerely - results
    i. Salary anyway.
    ii. Bribes (much more than salary)
    iii. No hard work - take it easy.

    So the decision flow is heavily tilted to NOT acting on complaint. Laws have to alter the balance of this fundamental barrier.
  • Anonymous
    but people can misuse this private defence Act right..........
  • shaikh ayaz  - ayaz
    :D hi
  • S kane  - missue of this law
    This law can certainly be misused by the criminal minded people.
    i am not sure how far it will be helpful to the peace loving citizens of our country who are at times scared to even become witnesses of the crimes happening in front of them. By nature, some people don't even show aggression to resist a injustice happening to them, i don't know how far they will be able to make use of this law for their personal protection.
    one thing i am afraid of is, this kind of laws can give rise to premeditated crimes. As the criminals in todays society have a decent understanding about the law and this particular law(self defense) can be used as a way to get away with the punishment
  • r.s rathore
    What is diff.between bail and bond under criminal proceedings
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Last Updated on Monday, 28 January 2013 00:53

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Hanumant Deshmukh
B.Tech.(IT-BHU, Varanasi),
CFA, LLB (Hons)

Sunil Ramchandani
B.Com. LLB(Hons)

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