A city court’s suggestion for enacting a separate law to deal with incest has been supported by social activists who say it will help check exploitation of women and children.
In a recent order, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Kamini Lau while giving life term to a man who raped his minor daughter said that it is time to acknowledge the existence of incest in our society before it is too late.
Social activists have welcomed the court observation and said if such a law comes up, crimes like incest could be dealt with firmly.
‘As a society, we are so tight-lipped on issues like these, a separate law on incest will help us look at it carefully,’ said Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research, told IANS.
She said a law as a tool will create conditions to talk and act on such grave issues of exploitation of women and children.
Anuja Gupta, executive director for a non-government organisation RAHI (recovering and healing from incest), stressed the need for a strict law against sexual abuse of children.
‘There is no law on child sexual abuse as a phenomenon, a legal remedy like a separate law will be a clear recognition of the problem,’ Gupta added.
Lau in her order stressed that the long-standing demand for a separate legislation on the issue should be taken seriously by law makers as ’till date it has never been on any political agenda’.
Countries like Germany, Britain and the US have strict laws against incest. In Britain, the offence invites a prison term of 12 years and in the US the punishment extends to 20 years, the court said.
Lau also blamed the victims’ families for not reporting these incidents to police in a bid to ‘protect the perpetrators in order to protect the family reputation’.