RPF proposes 3-year jail term for eve-teasing on board trains

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New Delhi: Eve-teasing and harassing a woman on board a train could soon lead to a jail term of three years for the offender, according to a set of new provisions proposed by the RPF for inclusion in the Railway Act, a senior official of the force said.

If this proposal to amend the Act is approved, then the penalty for outraging the modesty of a woman under the Railway Act would be more than that prescribed under the Indian Penal Code which is a maximum of one year imprisonment.

With a rise in crimes against women in trains, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has proposed a slew of provisions to be included in the Railway Act which would give them the right to apprehend such accused without the help of the Government Railway Police (GRP), the official told PTI.

“Each time a case would happen where a woman has been assaulted or we find men travelling in women’s compartments, we have to seek the aid of the GRP because the Railway Act didn’t have a provision to deal with such crimes.

“We have proposed the inclusion of these provisions so that we can act faster and don’t need the help of GRP,” said the official said.

In reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, the ministry had informed that the number of crimes against women in trains rose by 35 per cent during 2014-2016.

During 2014-2016, 1,607 cases of crimes against women passengers in trains were registered. 448 such cases were registered in 2014, 553 in 2015, 606 in 2016.

The RPF has also proposed a hike in the fine for men travelling in compartments reserved for women – from the present Rs 500 to Rs 1000, another senior official said confirming the proposed amendments.

Presently, Section 162 deals with cases whereby male passengers can be fined for travelling in a compartment reserved for women.

The railway police has also suggested the inclusion of a provision penalising those committing e-ticketing frauds, sources said.

It has recommended a fine of more than Rs two lakh for the offence along with a jail term of three years, the source said.

Both the officials said that the amended Act will seek to empower the authorised personnel of the RPF and the commercial, vigilance departments to deal with cases.

However, these amendments will have to be approved by the government and will go before Parliament for inclusion in the Act.