New Delhi, July 14: Senior Advocate and Parliamentarian KTS Tulsi on Friday introduced a private member bill before Rajya Sabha for amending the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to make sexual crimes gender neutral. The bill seeks protection to not only men but also transgender persons from sexual exploitation and punishes offenders of any sex and gender. Child Pornography Redefined by Modi Government to Ensure Punishment For Sexual Crimes Against Children Under POCSO.
The bill is proposed to be amending the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provisions to make it gender neutral. For example, in a provision dealing with sexual crimes such as stalking, sexual harassment, voyeurism at workplace rate, etc, references to 'man' is sought to be defined as 'whoever'. POCSO Act 2012 Amendment is An Eyewash? As a Society We Need to Act From ‘Swachh Bharat’ to ‘Savdhaan Bharat’.
"Law needs to be balanced. The balance has been disturbed. All sexual offences should be gender neutral. Men, women, and other genders can be perpetrators and also victims of these offences. Men, women and others need to be protected," Tulsi said speaking to India Today.
The bill also seeks to make changes in rape laws- to include punishment for "touching" genitals of the victim without penetration. It calls for the insertion of Section 375 A in the IPC, to punish sexual assault defined as "intentionally touches the genitals, anus or breast of the person or makes the person touch the vagina, penis, anus or breast of that person or any other person, without the other person's consent except where such touching is carried out for proper hygienic or medical purposes".
Last year, the issue was raised in Public interest litigation (PIL) before the Supreme Court. The court had then declined to pass the order, noting that it was a matter for the legislature to examine, which was the domain of Parliament.