1. Tamil Nadu Entry into Public Places (Removal of Restriction on Dress) Act, 2014
2. Cyber law offenders and Sexual-offenders
3. Grant of permit to sink well
Laws amended to prevent borewell tragedies
CHENNAI, August 12, 2014
Though the government has justified the introduction of a Bill in the Assembly on Monday to bring sexual offenders under the ambit of the Goondas Act, stating that instances of sexual assault threaten public order, civil liberty activists wary of the law being abused by the enforcement authorities.
The definition of sexual offender in the Bill covers the entire gamut of sexual offences possible: “A person who commits or attempts to commit or abets the commission of any offence punishable under sections 354, 376, 376-A, 376-B, 376-C, 376-D, or 377 of the Indian Penal Code or the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 1998 or the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.”
The sub-clause for amendment introduced in the Bill states that “in the case of a sexual offender, when he is engaged, or is making preparations for engaging, in any of his activities as sexual offender, which affect adversely, or are likely to affect adversely, the maintenance of public order” they would be arrested under the Goondas Act.
What if the person “likely to commit a sexual offence” is later found to be innocent, asked senior advocate Sudha Ramalingam. “Only recently the CM had said on the floor of the Assembly that many custodial deaths cases are false. Is it not possible that sexual offences cases could be false as well,” she asked. “In cases of sexual offences what is necessary is speedy action and immediate investigation, not preventive detention,” she said.
Another senior advocate, Geeta Ramaseshan, said the arrests would only make sense in the case of a habitual sexual offender, not otherwise.
“This does look like a harsh legislation. The mere apprehension of a sexual threat cannot be deemed an offence,” she said.
Vidya Reddy, Director of Tulir-Centre for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse, said that after the recent case of the rape of a six-year old child in Bangalore, Karnataka had brought in similar legislation which was used by the police to round up a large number of “possible offenders”. “You can’t bring everyone under the scanner to prevent a crime. As per the current proposal winking at a girl would be sufficient to earn the label of a “goonda,” she said.
TN Assembly passes bill to end restriction on dhoti