It's been five years since the brutal gangrape and murder of Nirbhaya, five years since that anger and outrage spilled onto our streets and begged for action to be taken, to assure the safety of women in India.
The demand for justice saw the establishment of the Justice JS Verma Committee which proposed reforms to our criminal laws, that eventually translated into the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013. But did these changes actually help women in our country? Have these laws actually made our streets safer for women?
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Supreme Court advocate Karuna Nundy, who’s pushing for the abolition of the marital rape exception in the Delhi High Court, spoke to The Quint’s legal correspondent Vakasha Sachdev about the ways in which the laws changed over the five years, and what remains to be done.
She points out that even though there were some notable changes to the law including improving our provisions on rape and special protections for acid attack victims, the approach towards legal reform is not holistic enough to bring about significant change.
She also emphasized on a holistic, education-based approach will help create an environment where sexual violence is prevented.
When it comes to rape or any form of sexual harassment, it always boils down to consent. Speaking to The Quint, Nundy said it's essential that we approach laws on sexual offences keeping in mind the bright line of consent, which would ensure that regressive laws like those on adultery no longer exist, and laws against sexual violence don't excuse any sort of violence, especially violence in homes which is where the majority of such acts takes place.
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