Jammu and Kashmir Becomes 1st State To Exercise Law Banning Sexual Exploitation Of Woman

| December 14 , 2018 , 19:15 IST

Jammu and Kashmir on Friday became the first state in India to have a law explicitly banning sexual exploitation of woman by those in positions of authority, having a fiduciary relationship or by a public servant.

It is learnt that the State Administrative Council (SAC) which has been headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik approved the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018, and the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

According to media reports, an official said, "The Bill seeks to amend the state Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) whereby specific offence under Section 354E is being inserted to provide for the offence of 'Sextortion'.

"Amendments are being made in Sections 154, 161 and Schedule of Criminal Procedure Code and Section 53A of the Evidence Act so as to bring sextortion at par with similar offences prescribed under the RPC".

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"Amendment is being made in Prevention of Corruption Act to amend the definition of misconduct and to provide that demand for sexual favours would also constitute misconduct within the meaning of Section 5."

Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir high court had directed the state government to either amend existing laws or introduce new ones to curb "sextortion" – sexual abuse of women by those in authority.

The draft Bill defines sexual favour as "any kind of unwanted sexual activity ranging from sexually suggestive conduct, sexually explicit actions such as touching, exposure of private body parts to sexual intercourse, including exposure over the electronic mode of communication" and makes clear that "it shall be no defence that the sexual benefit was derived with the consent of the victim."

The amendments, when in effect, will make the offence "non-bailable" and "not compoundable".