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  Metros   Delhi  19 Mar 2018  Court: Stalking must be dealt with sternly

Court: Stalking must be dealt with sternly

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 19, 2018, 1:38 am IST
Updated : Mar 19, 2018, 1:38 am IST

The court said the Indian society has been struggling to find ways to deal with the crime of stalking, which was made an offence in 2013.

The court said the refusal to act on the testimony of a victim of sexual assault in the absence of corroboration, as a rule, amounts to “adding insult to injury.”
 The court said the refusal to act on the testimony of a victim of sexual assault in the absence of corroboration, as a rule, amounts to “adding insult to injury.”

New Delhi: Expressing concern over the rise in the number of crime against women in the national capital, a special court has said the judiciary should sternly deal with the issue of stalking as the perpetrator, “if not addressed,” becomes dangerous overtime and poses threat to the lives of women.

The court said the Indian society has been struggling to find ways to deal with the crime of stalking, which was made an offence in 2013. However, there are several shortcomings in the existing law.

Special Judge Kamini Lau lamented that the society often blames women, saying they failed to wear “modest clothes.” But it has been observed that even those wearing dresses which the society claims are “decent,” are also not spared.

While dismissing the appeals of two convicts in a stalking case and upholding their sentence of six months in jail, the court said that there was no reason to disbelieve the statement of the 21-year-old woman, who was stalked in 2013 by her two classmates. There was no reason for her to falsely implicate them in the case, it added.

Stalking is an offence where a person wilfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and it entails a maximum punishment of three years of jail term for first offence and five years for subsequent crime.

The court said the refusal to act on the testimony of a victim of sexual assault in the absence of corroboration, as a rule, amounts to “adding insult to injury.”

The court said that while stalking essentially reflects a personality disorder of the perpetrator, it tends to put the victim and his/her family at high mental and physical risk at the hands of the offender. “A potential stalker, if not stopped in time, can cause serious physical and mental harm to the victim,” it said.

Tags: crime against women, stalking