Name of Author: Krupa Nirmal & Gargi Deb
The Indian law of crimes has always protected the rights of women by making the laws women-centric and enacting various statutes specifically for women. However, maintaining the concept of equity, the Indian Legislations fails to protect the concept of equality especially in Law of Crimes, therefore, infringing the fundamental right of right to equality. This research paper will mainly focus on how other gender’s rights are getting violated due to the discriminatory laws and what the government has attempted to curb down this situation.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE:
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (2003) in their study of hijra sex and Kothi sex workers in Bangalore has notified that the human rights violations against the transgender community are prominent and there is a dire need in having laws protecting them from such acts.
Arvind Narain (2013) while giving his opinion on the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, in an article in the Economic and Political Weekly quotes ‘There are no known instances in India where women have committed a sexual assault upon men and the proposal to make sexual assault gender-neutral in non-custodial situations is not based upon any empirical evidence.
- To analyze the problems faced by Men in society due to the women-centric approach.
2. To bring the aspect of having gender-neutral laws in The Indian Penal Code, 1860.
3. To critically analyze The Criminal Amendment Bill, 2019.
RESEARCH QUESTION AND PROBLEM:
- Why is the Government still protecting the interests of women in law of crimes?
2. Why is the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2019 not implemented?
3. If there are different Acts /Provisions available for women and transgenders then why not men?
Doctrinal Research Method, Secondary Data Collection.
The Constitution of India states under Article 14 that “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.” The aforementioned article is in two parts i.e. it commands the State not to deny to any person ‘equality before the law’ and not to deny the ‘equal protection of the laws’ therefore specifically prohibiting discrimination of any kind. The concept of ‘equal protection of the laws’ requires the State to give special treatment to persons in different situations in order to establish not just equality but equity among the citizens of India. Hence keeping this fundamental in mind the Indian Legislation has always tried protecting the rights of women and children especially in the Law of Crimes.
The Indian law of crimes is based on the concept that only a man can commit heinous crimes and women are the victims of it. Indeed, over the years women are been victims of several brutal acts such as domestic violence and sexual harassment. Not only women but even children are being sexually harassed and have been victims of gang rape and murder. The landmark case Vishaka & Ors. v State of Rajasthan & Ors., wherein a woman was gang-raped at her workplace gave rise to the Vishaka Guidelines which formed the basis for establishing The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. Furthermore, in the year 2012, the central government enacted the POCSO Act i.e. Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences, and made drastic amendments in-laws post the Delhi Gang-rape Case popularly known as Nirbhaya Case. However, due to enacting such statutes the fundamental right under Article 14 is getting infringed in a huge way.
The Law Commission of India in its 172nd report has suggested that the laws related to crime particularly rape law must be gender-neutral. It is been put forth that the principles of equality before the law and equal protection of rights enshrined as fundamental rights in our Constitution must be applied to this situation as well. Prima facie, it can be said that only gender-neutral law would result in equal protection of all identities. Although, we must not forget the realities of our very own society. There is no doubt that the most vulnerable section of the population is women but at the same time, we also should not forget that there are certain women who misuse these rights, and the fact that the men’s rights are not protected also makes them the victim to these serious and heinous crimes.
INDIAN PENAL CODE AN INJUST TOWARDS MENS RIGHT :
This chapter shall trace the sections in the Indian Penal Code which are identified as an injustice towards men’s rights. The Indian Penal Code 1860 is considered the official criminal code intended to cover all the substantive aspects of criminal law in India. There are a number of heinous crimes committed by both men and women and there are different sections provided under the code for the same. Section 2 of the IPC ‘states that every person shall be liable to punishment under the code and not otherwise for every act or omission contrary to the provisions thereof, of which he shall be guilty within’The section itself states that the code does not differentiate between men and women. However, it seems that there is a diversion from these rules and there are some crimes that are only committed by men and women is always the victim. Few crimes are identified as crimes that are only committed by men and no women can be accused of those crimes.
ANTI MALE PROVISIONS IN THE INDIAN PENAL CODE
Section 304B: DOWRY DEATH
- If any death of a woman is caused by burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances,
- Within seven years of her marriage,
- It is soon that she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry.
Section 304B is considered a non-bailable, non-compoundable, and cognizable offense in India. In which it’s always the husband who is charged and brought up to trial until he is proved guilty for the crime which he might have not committed. It’s always accepted by the Indian Society that a man is the one who demands dowry, he is the one who causes harm to the wife, etc and the wife never does anything wrong in the marriage. It has become a custom to claim that all the women have been “driven to suicide” due to dowry harassment. There are a few incidences/cases in India where a wife falsely tries to accuse the husband of her own needs and demand.
A 30-year-old man, Pushkar Singh, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his home in Jankipuram area of Vikas Nagar. In a suicide note, addressed to the Allahabad High Court, Singh alleges that he was framed in a dowry case by his wife Vinita and her relatives, due to which he had to spend time in judicial custody for four months. The Indian Judiciary needs to throw a light on matters where men are falsely accused by their wife/family of wife for the crime which they have not committed.
section498A : Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.
Whosoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband subjects such a woman to cruelty, and the woman is likely to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health shall be punished with imprisonment and shall be liable to fine.
Section498A is considered a non-bailable, non-compoundable, and cognizable offense in India. Apparently, there are a few Indian Educated Women who have turned the tables and are using these laws as a weapon towards their husband/relatives of the husband. Desertion by wife means wife deliberately intending for separation to bring cohabitation permanently to an end. But it’s very difficult for husbands to prove the same as laws are completely female supportive and Gender Biased.
Prem Chand Pandey vs Smt. Savitri Pandey is a case that is a unique example of false allegations of adultery amounts to cruelty. It was found that the wife had filed false allegations against the husband and his family, that they demanded dowry before the marriage and after. They also tortured her because their demands were not fulfilled. All these allegations were proved wrong.
There are certain grounds on which cruelty against husband can be filed:- Misuse of Dowry Laws, Domestic Violence Act by wife against husband and his parents through lodging false complaints.
When a heinous crime like rape is committed victimization is experienced by both men and women equally. But according to Section 375 of IPC, rape is something that only a man can do to a woman. The very first sentence ‘ A man is said to commit “rape” if he’ indicates how gender bias Indian laws are. All kinds of sexual offenses like rape, assault, gang rape cannot but committed by women but only men.
Interestingly in 2013, the Centre passed its temporary Criminal Law (Amendment)Ordinance, which substituted the word ‘rape’ for sexual assault and made the crime gender-neutral from the aspect of both the perpetrator and victim. However, strong objections were raised by women’s groups and the Act ended up making the offenses of rape and sexual harassment gender-specific. The other gender besides men and women has also no identity in any kinds of laws made by the Indian Parliament in IPC. There are a number of men and transgenders who face assault, sexual harassment in their day-to-day life but are ashamed to share with anyone having a fear to be blamed for something which was against their consent. In a society that celebrates masculinity, its difficult for a man, straight or gay to report rape. “They don’t have a platform to speak out”
In the year 2013, Vinodhan a male rape survivor wrote a blog on Orinam- a Chennai-based support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) stating that he was gang-raped by six men when he was 18 years old. Even though it occurred 12 years ago he is still scared of sleeping alone. He was verbally abused for being a homosexual and all the six men who were drunk took turns filming the whole thing. 
Section354 : Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.
Section 354 states that: ‘Whosoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty’
Section 354 IPC does not stipulate any law which protects the modesty of a man. These provisions violate the right to equality and the right to non-discrimination guaranteed to citizens under Article 14 and Article 15 of the Constitution of India. The way there are actions taken against the person who performs modesty of a woman it should be the same when it comes to men.
Subsections under Section 354: 354A, 354B, 354C, 354D deal only with crimes that are only for the protection of the women and not for the men because they are perpetrators always.
Section 354A: Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment :
Section 354A states that any man trying to have any kind of physical contact involving in unwelcomed and explicit sexual overtures, demand or request for sexual favors, showing pornography against the will of the woman shall be guilty of the offense of sexual harassment. But what if a woman does the same? Are there any laws made by the Indian Parliament that punish women when they commit the same crime?
Section354B : Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe:
Assault or use of criminal force by man to any woman or abets such act with intention of disrobing or compelling her to naked shall be guilty. Again this section clearly discriminates between genders therefore not protecting the whole demography.
Section 354C : Voyeurism: filming or taking pictures of any woman involved in a private act as a crime with a punishment of at least 1-year imprisonment. This section neglects the concept of men being a victim.
Section 354D : Stalking: One of the most effective sections, which has criminalized stalking a woman against her will and made it severely punishable with at least 3 years of imprisonment. And men can never be stalked.
THE INSIGHTS OF THE CRIMINAL AMENDMENT BILL, 2019.:
The bill focuses on amending Section 2 of the aforementioned statute to include a definition of “modesty” by defining it as a personality trait relating to the universally held conviction in morality, decency, and integrity of speech and behavior in any gender.
The bill aims to change the IPC Sections 354, 354A, 354B, 354C & 354D. The concept of Outraging women’s modesty, sexual harassment, intent to disrobe, voyeurism, and stalking are all covered under these provisions. The above-mentioned sections will be changed to take into account the sex of the perpetrator and the victims of rape. The words “man” or “any man who” is proposed to be replaced by “whoever” while “a woman” by any person”.
Further, the bill intends to amend Section 375 of the IPC wherein it replaces the pronouns referring to “men” and “women” with phrases such as “any person” or “other person,” thereby having gender neutrality in the rape law.
Furthermore, the bill replaces the phrases “penis” and “vagina” with the word “genital,” which will be further defined as the penis and vagina in Explanation one, therefore, defining rape as the victimization of both women and men as perpetrators.
The Bill also proposes to add a new Section 375A wherein it defines sexual assault as the intentional touching of the genitals, anus, or breasts, or forcing another person to touch such parts of the other person without consent, or the use of unwelcome words or gestures that create an “unwelcome threat of actionable nature,” punishable by up to three years in prison and/or a fine. The law gives the provision that the men can be identified as rape victims and that purposeful contact and unwelcomed statements will be considered a sexual assault against men.
Apart from special sub-sections which deal with the rape of women and children in detention, this bill also wishes to bring gender neutrality in the offenses mentioned under Sections 376A, 376B, 376C, and 376D of the IPC by replacing the word woman with “any person”. 
We, as a society, really need to infuse Gender Neutrality among ourselves, develop a feeling of respect and warmth towards the opposite sex, and understand that in order to uplift one section; we must not oppress the other. The existence of male and transgender rape in India cannot be ignored. However, the fear of the law being misused creates a complicated situation. Therefore, we must try to balance the rights of all identities. It is evident that we require a law which on the one hand protects all identities, i.e., men, women, and the transgender community against heinous crimes, and on the other does not create a detrimental environment for the most vulnerable section of the society women. The researchers are of this view that there is a growing need to bring in strong laws that protect all the persons equally focusing on the nature of the crime as well as laws against false complaints and misuse of law causing unquantifiable miseries to innocent victims.
- The Constitution of India; Art.14
- Vishaka & Ors. v State of Rajasthan & Ors.,
- False dowry case? Man kills self – Indian Express
- Lacking support, male rape victims stay silent | Chennai News – Times of India (indiatimes.com) Priya M Menon
- The Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2019 – a way forward for gender neutrality
- By Diganth Raj Sehgal ;July 16, 2021; https://blog.ipleaders.in/criminal-law-amendment-bill-2019-way-forward-gender-neutrality/
 The Constitution of India; Art.14
 Vishaka & Ors. v State of Rajasthan & Ors.,
 Indian Penal Code 1860;Section 2
 Indian Penal Code 1860;Section 304B
 Indian Penal Code; Section 498A
 Prem Chand Pandey vs Smt. Savitri Pandey
 Indian Penal Code 1860;Section 375
 Indian Penal Code 1860;Section 354
 The Criminal Amendment Bill,2019
By Diganth Raj Sehgal ;July 16, 2021; https://blog.ipleaders.in/criminal-law-amendment-bill-2019-way-forward-gender-neutrality/