Cases that laid the groundwork for Indian law reforms to benefit women


In the modern era, women walk with men in all sectors and in all aspects, whether economic, social or political, and everyone is aware of this. Women are also human, they are individuals who must be considered and considered with the same respect and the same opportunities as men. With crimes against women believed to be on the rise, women’s rights and safety are becoming of critical importance. Constant access to education, empowerment, health care, equal status in society and timely reforms should be reflected in every country’s legislation.

Women centered laws and legislative reforms have been considered since 1829 when Raja Ram Mohan Roy took the initiative to end Sati Pratha. Yet even today we struggle to protect our women and provide them with equal opportunity and status in society.

Following are the important steps taken by the Indian government to form legal reforms for women:

The Nirbhaya case: Amended Juvenile Justice Act 2000

On December 16, 2016, six men assaulted and raped a 23-year-old woman on a bus before throwing her body on the road in a gruesome gang rape. Five of the six men were adults, with the exception of a 17-year-old child. When the five adult men were captured, they were sentenced to death, with one dying in prison during a trial. The 17-year-old was sentenced to three years in a juvenile correctional facility.

The tragedy shook the national conscience and sparked major protests, resulting in the modification of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000which reduced the age limit to be tried as an adult from 18 to 16.

Mary Roy v Kerala State: Amended Indian Succession Act 1925: The Indian Succession Act 1925 was extended to Christians in Travancore and Cochin, ensuring equality for daughters.

Mary Roy’s husband died without making a will. She was the mother of Arundhati Roy and she chose to challenge the inheritance statute, which stated that her daughter would lose title to the property if she did not have a will. According to the Travancore Christian Succession Act of 1092, if a man dies without having made a will for his daughter, she is entitled to nothing. As a result, the property would pass to the son of the deceased.

Mary Roy fought for her daughter and used Section 14 to demand equal property rights. She also argued that all Syrian Christian women should be granted equal property rights. Eventually the Supreme Court ruled in favor and the Indian Succession Act 1925 was extended to include Cochin Christians. If the father dies intestate, the kid is entitled to the same share as her brother.

Mature: Amendment: Criminal Law Act, 1983

Mathura was a young tribal girl who was summoned to the police station late on the night of March 26, 1972. A policeman raped her and then let her go. Mathura chose to charge the cop with rape. But the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the cop. Since there was no trace of struggle on Mathura’s body, she didn’t even scream or ask for help.

However, due to widespread popular support, an amendment to the Criminal Law 1983 was enacted. According to this change, rape in custody is a criminal offense and the process of dealing with consent is now incorporated into India’s rape laws.

This is the first time the death penalty has been introduced for the offense of rape given the seriousness of the offense and the government’s conscious attempt to impose an increased penalty as a deterrent for such crimes. heinous against women and young girls.

State of Rajasthan vs Vishaka: Impact: Development of rules to protect women against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Bhanwari Devi was a social worker who was gang-raped in a hamlet in Rajasthan in 1992. She was trying to stop her one-year-old daughter from getting married because she didn’t want to. As a result, she took action against her family. She sued and demanded justice. She got a lot of support from non-governmental organizations, prompting the Supreme Court to hand down a landmark decision that helped protect women from sexual harassment in the workplace and achieve universal equality.

Before 1997, such standards did not exist to protect women at work? In April 2013, the court passed the Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women in the Workplace Act, also known as the Prevention, Prohibition and Redress Act 2013. Vishakha’s instructions were crucial in properly crafting and enacting this legislation.

Muhammad Ahmed Khan v Shah Bano Begum: Article 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 has been amended

Shah Bano was 62 and a mother of five when her husband, Muhammad Ahmed Khan, divorced her in 1978. She came to court asking for help from her divorced husband. She wanted alimony, which is against Islamic law. Even the authorities decided in favor of her husband. Taking her health and age as a benchmark, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Shah Bano, upholding secularism and women’s welfare by amending Article 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. This decision authorized alimony for their husbands in the event of divorce for all Muslim wives.

In America, Susan Brownell Anthony became one of the most visible leaders of the women’s suffrage movement and she said: “The day will come when men will recognize women as their equals, not only by the fireside but in the councils of nations. Then, and not before, there will be the perfect camaraderie, the ideal union between the sexes which will result in the highest development of the race.


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