A woman who is one of the agencies responsible for the continuation of human race generation after generation on the back of this planet, a woman who is epitome of exquisiteness, love, sacrifice, compassion and warmth, a woman who has filled colors in colorless life of man, has been subjecting to hostility since the inception of this universe. God created women as a tender creature in order to present a picture of softness in this world but men folk in the fit of pride of strength find no other way to show her maleness but an naive woman. He harasses her by eve teasing her, he spoils her life by spitting acid on her face, he injuries her body and spirit by raping her, he turns her life into hell by practicing marital violence on her, he torns her dignity by sexually assaulting her and he ends her life by annihilating her either for dowry or any such reasons. Irony is we are dwelling in such a kind of society where every moment brings news of crime. Our daughters are dominated with a sense of terror from their male counterpart. Here I want to ask, is this the kind of society we are calling a modern and developed society? Sorry to say but this is worst kind of society which is dominated by educated beasts. In addition to this safeguard agencies like Police and Lawyers and politicians have also turned into opportunists. They remain in an incessant attempt to take benefits out of victim’s misery who come to them for help. In spite of giving relief they further multiply the pain and misery of a victim. So in this ambiance of greed and opportunism, importance of awareness towards our legal rights gets doubled many folds. Here is the list our legal rights which can help us in time of need.
(1) Improper police procedure
Under high court directive, every police station must have a lady officer not below the rank of Head constable available round the clock. The police should also help the victim of sexual assault of any degree with counseling assistance and further aid towards betterment of victim. A woman can only be searched by a lady officer. A woman can be arrested only in the presence of lady officer. A woman can not be arrested before sunrise and after sunset however exception can only be made under the direction of magistrate.
(2) Right to anonymity
Victims of sexual assault have a right to anonymity to ensure that her privacy is protected. A woman who has been sexually assaulted may record her statement alone before the district magistrate, when the case is under trail in the presence of a female police officer.
(3) Right to free legal aid
All female rape victims have a right to free legal aid under the Legal Service Authority Act. It is mandatory for the Station House Officer (SHO) to inform Legal Service Authority who arrange for lawyer.
(4) Right to dignity and decency
In the event that an accused is a woman, any medical examination procedure on her must be performed by or in the presence of a woman.
(5) Offensive propaganda
The indecent representation of a woman(Prohibition) Act 1986 prohibit any individual or organization to publish or help post, publish, exhibit or advertise online or off line, kind of representation of woman that can be considered to be indecent (National commission for woman)
(6) Right against harassment against at work
The enactment of sexual harassment of woman at work place act gives you a right to file a co mplain of sexual harassment by your male counterpart of officer at work place.
(7) Minimum wages Act
Govt. of India has set a minimum wage for every section of profession that must be paid to any skilled, semiskilled or unskilled worker. The minimum wage for a skilled worker in Delhi is Rs 423 both for man and woman.
(8) Domestic violence
This fall under the section 498A of IPC, according to this law any person can claim about any incident where a family member has offended him or her cruelly or with the intention of cruelty. This law is applicable for or against any member regardless of gender.
(9) Eve teasing
Section 294-509 of IPC prohibit any individual or group of people to pass any kind of offensive or execute any kind of gesture towards a girl of any age
(10) Child Marriage—- Child marriage Restrain Act 1929 prohibit any girl who is not 18 to get married.
(11) Succession to property-–Under clause of Hindu Succession Act 1956 any person who is entitled to be the heir of a property of ancestor should get the property of ancestor regardless of gender.
(12) Dowry Prohibition –—Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 says if any one give or receive or even help the exchange, he or she will face a jail term of five years or even more and fine of Rs 15000 or sum of dowry which ever is more.
(13) Right to maternity benefit
Maternity benefit Act ensures that new mother does not suffer any loss of earnings following a period of twelve weeks after her delivery allowing her to rejoin the work force.
Awareness of our above mention legal rights can help us in getting justice easily and unawareness toward these fact further pushes us in the deep George of exploitation.
In the conclusion I would like to emphasis that let us spread the awareness of our legal rights to each and every girl of India especially illiterate section of our country so that the agencies like police lawyer or politician would not be in a position to exploit a victim further.