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26 Nov


There are various forms of crime against women. Sometimes, it begins even before their birth, sometimes in the adulthood and other phases of life. Let us examine some of the important laws introduced for eradication of crime against women.
(i) Sati
So far we have seen that in the Indian society, the position of women is always perceived in relation to the man, from birth onwards and at every stage of life, she is dependent on him.
This perception has given birth to various social customs and practices. One important manifestation of these customs and practices has been that of Sati. It is seen as a pinnacle of achievement for a woman. This custom of self-immolation of the widow on her husband’s pyre was an age-old practice in some parts of the country, which received deification.
The popular belief ran that the goddess enters into the body of the woman resolves to become a sati. The practice of sati has been abolished by law with the initiative of Raja Rammohan Roy; in the early decades of nineteenth century.
However, there has been a significant revival of the practice of sati in the last few decades. Indeed, Rajasthan has been the focal point for this practice in recent years.
India has witnessed a strong social reaction in the form of organised agitation in the late 1980s against sati following the burning of the young educated Roop Kanwar on the funeral pyre of her husband in Deorala, Rajasthan. In response to the public demand the Parliament passed the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987.
This law declares the practice of sati unlawful and “any act towards such commission shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be extended to six months or with fine or with both”.
The Act also prescribes the maximum punishment for the abetment of the commission of sati, to equate it with murder rather than abetment of suicide, as has been done in the earlier cases of sati.

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