The Hindu By : Ojaank Sir
I # Editional : Pursued by danger
Why in news ?
The recent incident of a woman being pursued at night by men in a car in chandigarh has brought up the issue of stalking to the fore.
What is the legislation with stalking in India?
Section 354 D of the India penal code, which pertains to stalking is a bailable offence.
The first offence of stalking is ‘bailable’ implying that the accused need
not be produced before a court for seeking bail but can be relieved
from a police station itself.
Any subsequent offence of stalking is ‘non-bailable’ meaning court will
have the discretion to grant bail to an accused.
The justice verma committee, set up in 2012 had recommended
that stalking be introduced as a non-bailable offence with one to
three years in jail as punishment.
A criminal law Amendment ordinance wanted every offence of
stalking be considered as non-bailable
What are the problem in this regard?
There is an almost 50% rise in stalking cases but conviction rate
is abysmally low.
The duration it takes for the police to file charge sheet for
the offence that is bailable could lead to complainants losing
the resolve to continue.
There are also instances of complainants being pressured into
withdrawing the case.
Stalking at times, contains the seeds for a bigger, often
violent crime including murder and acid attack.
What is the way ahead?
Law makers and the society should start understanding stalking as
indeed a crime that requires swift punishment.
Time bound trial can help in more convictions.
The nation that expanding the rigour and scope of penal law
would bring down crimes against women has unfortunately not worked.
Evidently, the change is now needed in social attitude towards
considering stalking as a mere annoyance.
Source : The Hindu