Staying in a male-dominated and gender-biased society, we need to be aware of women’s rights and systems that have been laid down by the government. Here are 10 rights that most women are unaware of.
Right to free aid
When a woman goes to a police station to file a complaint, it’s mandatory for them to register the complaint and give the woman necessary legal aid even if she is not accompanied by a lawyer. Many a time when a victim files a complaint, they are misquoted or wrongly treated by the police. It’s their right to demand the aid.
Right to privacy
A rape victim is often suppressed and tortured when going through legal enquiries. One should be aware of the fact that a woman who has been raped has a right to record her statement privately in front of the magistrate without being overheard. Under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, it’s mandatory for the cops to give the victim complete privacy without stressing her. The victim also has the freedom to record her statement personally to a woman constable or police officer in person.
Right to untimely registration
A rape victim may decide to delay her complaint, fearing the fact that she’ll face embarrassment in the society or the offender might harm her. Whatever the reason, if she later decides to file the complaint, cops cannot say no to register her complaint.
Right to virtual complaints
If a woman is not able to go to the station, she can lodge her complaint via email or write it to the police station from a registered postal address. After going through a process the SHO (Station House Officer) will send the police to her place to record her statement.
Right to Zero FIR
Under the Right to Zero FIR, a rape victim can go to any police station to file the complaint and the station cannot refuse to register it. The senior officer will then direct the SHO (Station House Officer) of the concerned police station to lodge the FIR. It’s a Supreme Court ruling and SHO cannot refuse to take the action.
Right to no arrest
According to the Supreme Court ruling, women cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. “Even if there is a woman constable accompanying the officers, the police can’t arrest a woman at night. In case the woman has committed a serious crime, the police require to get it in writing from the magistrate explaining why the arrest is necessary during the night,” as told to Times of India by Bhaumik.
Right to not being called to the police station
Under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code, women cannot be summoned to the police station for an investigation. “The police can interrogate a woman at her residence in the presence of a woman constable and family members or friends,” Abeed told to Times of India. Women have the privilege of not being physically present at the police station for investigation.
Right to confidentiality
Under the act, the identity of the rape victim cannot be revealed by any source, written or spoken. Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code makes the disclosure of a victim’s identity a punishable offence.
Right towards crime and not a medical condition
A rape case cannot be dismissed even if the doctor refuses that rape has not taken place. As per Section 164, A of the Criminal Procedure Code the victim has to go through a medical examination and only the medical reports from the examination can act as proof.
Right to no sexual harassment
According to the Supreme Court ruling, it’s mandatory for every institution and organization to set up a Sexual Harassment Committee. The committee should be headed by a woman and should comprise of 50% women members. One of the members should be from a women welfare committee.