HC seeks status of proposed legislation to end sexual abuse

HC seeks status of proposed legislation to end sexual abuse
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Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to file status report about the proposed legislation for ending sexual abuse of women in any form.
The direction was passed to Secretary of Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs.
On the previous hearing, the court had directed authorities to examine the issue of “Sextortion”, the demand for a sexual favour from a woman to, for instance, enable her to secure a job or a promotion or passing a test for a student pursuing education or even for routine work from persons in authority (not only in public service). Such situations include places, where engagement or advancement depends on discretion which vests in the perpetrators.
The court observed that it was the duty of the state to ensure circumstances of emotional and physical security which inspire confidence in women to live freely and to ensure the constitutional goal of equality by creating a level playing field for them in all circumstances.
The court had asked state government to enact a strict law or amend Prevent of Corruption Act 2006 to end sexual abuse of women in any form. The government on consideration had called for amendment of the Corruption law where any public official demanding sexual favours will be dealt with serious punishment but the proposed legislation is yet to see the light.
Meanwhile, Secretary Social Welfare Department was directed to file report with respect to court order dated 7 July, 2017 wherein it was directed that position and working of various schemes for women be periodically monitored and awareness be generated at large.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar directed the Social Welfare Department to implement the HUNAR and SMAS (State Marriage Assistance Scheme) Schemes for women after amicus curie, Farah Bashir informed court that no updated report was coming with respect to these schemes where skill and marriage assistance are provided to poor girls.
The court directed Member Secretary, Legal Service Authority and District Legal Service authorities to ensure that these schemes are made available to poor girls.
“Every possible step must be taken so that outreach of these schemes will be at large. Let concerned officers file their reports on next date of hearing,” the court said.
The PIL was initially a petition, seeking quashing of PSA order at the pre-execution stage against one Mohammad Amin Beigh, a resident of Kulgam in south Kashmir.
Beigh—who was running a private security agency— was ordered to be detained under the PSA by District Magistrate Srinagar on December 26, 2011 for allegedly indulging in immoral activities including physically exploiting poor girls as well as ‘supplying’ them to others.