Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Nirbhaya Center - Our Response

WCD asks for Response from Public for Nirbhaya OSCC


Dated: 10th July 2014

To,
Shri. S. K. Sinha,
Under Secretary to the Govt. Of India,
Ministry of Women and Child Development.
Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

SUBJECT: Response to Concept Note for setting up Nirbhaya Centre

Dear Sir,

This letter is in reference to Public Notice vide File No. 27-1/2014-WW, asking response from Public for Concept Note for setting up Nirbhaya Centre.
 
As a concerned NGO of the Republic of India, we wish to share some preliminary objections to the whole concept:
 
1.       We wish to draw your attention to the FIRST and FOREMOST important “CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS”, which in Chapter 1: Purposes and Principles, under Article 1 (The Purposes of the United Nations are:), in Point No. 3. Here, the Charter says, “To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion;

So, the very reference of United Nations, which has been mentioned into your report, in its Charter or its Constitution, talks about Human Rights, without distinction based on Gender of the Human. Article 7 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights , says, “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

So, while referring to United Nation’s declaration on the Elimination of Violence, the concept of the paper itself misses out the fact that United Nation’s PRIMARY role and preamble is about Protection and Justice without Gender discrimination. This means that the very foundation of these centers is actually flawed as it takes AWAY the Right of Men of India for same services.

2.       Also, your concept paper refers to a report from Ministry of Women and Child Development, XII Five Year Plan. We hereby wish to draw your attention to the very same report, Page No. 5, Table No. 1, which clearly shows that Sex Ratio of India actually increased with age. Meaning, more Men are dying faster as against Women. Sex Ratio increases from 914 per 1000 in Child Sex Ratio to 940 per 1000. This means, that where as Men need more Protection, leaving them out of this Initiative is like going against the same Publication. And we wish to stress even more on the fact that this report is drawn by a Ministry which does not even have Mandate to protect and help Men i.e. Ministry of Women and Child Development.

3.       You have even referred data from National Crime Records Bureau. We wish to draw your attention on how is this initiative missing out worst hit Men/Husbands. The below graph is prepared from the Suicides that Men-Husband-Women-Wife commit every year in India because on non-availability of Support system. Whereas, women enjoy protection of over 49 Law along with over 10000 Women Organization, Special Ministry, Special commission and other support system like concessions / quotas / reservation apart from specially created Legal processes for their benefit including Crime Against Women (CAW) cells / Mahila Thanas. Men continue to be on receiving end of the society where being the ones who are weaker to handle pressures created by society/women on them, men still remain an ignored entity.
 
4.       Now, coming to the mention of Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013 or that of Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is concerned, We must also bring to your notice specific observations about both these laws:
a.       Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013: Various courts have raised their serious concerns about the misuse of this Ordinance which was converted to an Act. Please see article SC raises concern over misuse of rape cases.
b.      Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act 2013: The way Gender Biased Laws have become a basket of laws, easy to misuse, the Law Makers while forming this law were forced to include Misuse clause as shared in Article 'Add misuse clause in sexual harassment bill'
 
So the very laws that you are basing your concept to justify the need of these centers are being questioned on the very Motive behind these laws by either Hon’ble Supreme Court of Law Ministry itself.
 
5.       Coming to quoting of various countries OSCC, lets first see if India is even ELIGIBLE to equate itself to these countries:
                Bangladesh                      Definition of Rape is different from India
                South Africa                     The law is Gender neutral UNLIKE India
                England                            The law is Gender neutral UNLIKE India
                Rwanda                            Law was formed under circumstances of Genocide
                Zambia                             The law is Gender neutral for Accused UNLIKE India
                Australia                           The law is Gender neutral UNLIKE India
                Malaysia                          Definition of Rape is different from India
 
And only countries of “convenience” for such a data have been included in your note and clearly excluded are the huge list of countries which have Gender Neutral Rape Laws.
 
6.       On the services to be provided, any man who is a victim of a Gender Crime (victim of Domestic Violence or victim of Rape or victim of false Gender Biased cases), is in dire need of all the mentioned services and hence there is no reason that spending 477 crores for this project unless ALL citizens will get an access to this.
 
7.       The very laws stated in your note for which a “Woman” needs OSCC have been grossly misused to the tune that even Hon’ble Supreme Court of India was forced to call such grow misuse as “Legal Terrorism”. Read this Article Inside the new 'legal terrorism': How laws are being abused to settle personal scores
 

Owing to the above contents, we hereby submit our proposal for following changes:
 
1.       OSCC to be made available to ALL citizens irrespective of GENDER, Age, ethnicity, Caste, Creed or ANY OTHER differentiation.
 
2.       OSCC MUST also have the facility of asking Police to file a FIR for a False case when such a case comes to OSCC as violation to this would mean gross injustice to one who is falsely accused.
 
3.       Proceedings / discussions / processes happening at OSCC must be video recorded.
 
4.       OSCC must be penalized if they differentiate between victims based on their GENDER, Age, ethnicity, Caste, Creed or ANY OTHER differentiation.
 
With the above submissions, we also wish to depose before the Panel in person if you feel to have a need of doing so.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

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................................................... CRIME HAS NO GENDER ....................................................
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