Legislative Acts

Parliament from time to time has passed several legislations to empower women & to provide them a legal basis in their fight for equality & justice. Some of them are:

  • Sati (Prevention) Act 1987 – The practice of Sati which was first abolished in 1829, was revised and made illegal in 1887. It provided for a more effective prevention of the commission of sati and its glorification and for matters connected therewith.
  • Amendment to criminal Act 1983– This Act talks about domestic violence as an offence, rape is also made a punishable offence.
  • Special Marriage Act 1954- It has been amended to fix the minimum age of marriage at 21 yrs for males & 18 yrs for females.
  • Hindu Succession Act 1956– Equal share to daughter from property of father, while a widow has the right to inherit husband’s property. An amendment in this Act in 2005 enabled daughters to have equal share in ancestral properties.
  • Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA), 1986– Suppression of Immoral Trafficking in women and girls Act (SITA) 1956 was amended in 1986 & renamed ITPA. SITA was enacted to prohibit or abolish traffic in women and girls for purposes of It was amended to cover both the sexes & provided enhanced penalties for offenses involving minors. However the system has failed to crack the mafia working both at interstate and international levels.
  • Dowry Prohibition Act 1961– Now court is empowered to act in his own knowledge or on a complaint by any recognized welfare organization on dowry Indian Evidence Act is also amended to shift the burden of proof to husband & his family where bride dies within 7 yrs of marriage.
  • Maternity benefit Act 1961– An Act to regulate the employment of women for certain period before and after childbirth and to provide for maternity benefits like paid leaves for 6 months.
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971– Legalize abortion in case if fetus is suffering from physical or mental abnormality, in case of rape & unwanted pregnancy within 12 weeks of gestation period & after 12th week, before 20th week if the pregnancy is harmful for the mother or the child born would be severely deformed.
  • Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986– This Act prohibits indecent representation of women through advertisements or in publications, writings, paintings, and figures or in any other manner and for matters connected therewith.
  • Domestic Violence Act 2005- It seeks to determine domestic violence in all forms against women & make it a punishable offence.
  • Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 – In the backdrop of Dec 16 gang rape, this Act was passed amending the CrPC. The new law has provisions for increased sentence for rape convicts, including life- term and death sentence, besides providing for stringent punishment for offences such as acid attacks, stalking and Through the revised Bill, the government has amended various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.