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Landmark Gujarat High Court Ruling Stresses Accountability and Urges Societal Shift in Addressing Gender Violence

Gujrat High Court

Last Updated on December 19, 2023 by News Desk

The Gujarat High Court has emphasized the importance of addressing gender violence and the need to break the silence surrounding it. The court noted that marital rape is illegal in fifty American States, three Australian States, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Soviet Union, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, among other nations. In the United Kingdom, which the Indian Penal Code (IPC) largely draws from, the exception to section 376 which exempts husbands from rape charges was removed due to a 1991 judgment. Therefore, a man sexually assaulting or raping a woman is amenable to punishment under Section 376 of the IPC.

The court also highlighted the need to change the social attitude of ‘boys will be boys’, which trivializes or normalizes the offences of eve teasing and stalking. Sexual violence is varied in degree, with the most aggravated level being rape with or without attendant violence. However, there are substantial numbers of incidents falling within the rubric of sexual violence, which amounts to offenses under various penal enactments.

The court opined that the’silence’ on gender violence needs to be broken, as it is often unseen and shrouded in a culture of silence. The causes and factors of violence against women include entrenched unequal power equations between men and women, aggravated by cultural and social norms, economic dependence, poverty, and alcohol consumption. In India, the defendants are often known to women, but the social and economic costs of reporting such crimes are high.

The court stressed that men, perhaps more than women, have a duty and role to play in averting and combating violence against women. In doing so, men may have a duty and role to play in averting and combating violence against women.

These strong observations were made while dismissing a bail application filed by a woman, booked along with her husband and son under charges of rape, outraging modesty, and cruelty. In accordance with the Information and Technology Act, the Rajkot Cyber Crime Police had also brought pertinent charges. In and Technology Act.

The woman’s daughter-in-law lodged a complaint against her husband and parents-in-law accusing them of recording her nude videos and photos and uploading the same on a porn website. She alleged that her father-in-law instigated her husband to record their intimate scenes on phone and upload the same on a porn website to earn money.

Despite the facts and material on record, Justice Joshi found that the applicant’s mother-in-law was aware of the sexual assault and harassment meted out to the complainant. He argued that whatever the reason behind such a heinous and shameful act, it must be strictly criticised, and the accused must be punished to prevent the commission of such types of offences in the future.

Case Title: Anjanaben Modha Vs. State of Gujrat

Written By: Srijan Raj @procrastinate_human

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