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Will the stalker menace stop?

Will the stalker menace stop?

The proposal to introduce a new Section 509B in the Criminal Law (amendment) Bill, 2011, has given women in the country reason to rejoice. With this amendment, the Indian Penal Code will make stalking, which includes following a woman repeatedly, contacting her through phone, mail or any other form of communication or loitering or watching the place where she works or lives, a punishable offence, with imprisonment of up to seven years.

Women across the country feel that the move will be a formal acknowledgement of the mental trauma that a victim of stalking goes through. Even a Katrina Kaif and a Shilpa Shetty, despite their high security, have had their fair share of stalking. Will this bill provide any real respite? Stars get talking to Hyderabad Times.

Invasion of someone’s privacy by stalking can be nerve-wrecking and devastating, especially in India where the woman is often blamed for a stalker’s misconduct unless of course she is a celebrity. I am so glad that they are proposing a law which will discourage this form of misdemeanor. However, along with this, it is more important to review and make “rape” laws very severe as I feel in most cases “rape” and “stalking” is amounting to practically similar amount of punishment. The worst part is the continued existence of section 155(4) of IEA – it is a matter of argument that this provision offers protection to the accused if the woman in question is of ‘immoral character’! – Celina

Source: TOI

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