The term indecent representation means publishing or distributing a woman as a materialistic depiction. It means that anything that is published seems derogatory or defamation to the dignity of a woman.
To prevent such things from happening, the Government of India decided to launch a statute to uphold the decency of all women citizens in the country.
In 1986, the Rajya Sabha passed a bill against the indecency of a woman which was in demand as there were instances of derogatory deception of women across the country. The bill came into effect in October 1986.
In recent times, there has been a need to update and regulate laws. As the world has turned from newspapers to social media and advertisements, the portrayal and objectification of women have increased immensely. Therefore, there is a need for a new law to be made to safeguard women against indecency.
The indecent representation of women (prohibition) Act 1986 was passed in the year 2012. The newly amended bill seeks to prohibit indecent advertisement or publication representation of women. It primarily has focused on the print media industry, and it states that people involving in such acts will be punishable under the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986. The amendment has increased the scope of this act by covering a wide range of new forms of communication which includes satellite-based communications, televisions, advertisements on radios, the internet, etc.
The bill also prohibits the publication of any indecent representation of women. But there’s an exception to the same. This provision will not be applicable if it is in the interest of science, literature, any art which has the bonafide of religious purpose, any existing cultural sculptures, or any monuments and temples.
The bill has added a new definition which speaks about the indecent representation of women. This also pertains to all electronic forms or in the business of publishing. It is forbidden by the law to give derogatory remarks about women as it is found in the decent representation of a woman. It also means that they are depriving women of their dignity and doing so will also decrease their public morality. Here, electronic form means any kind of information sent by anyone, data stored, media saved by someone, and any data which seems to be insulting or derogating any women.
If any kind of derogatory remarks are found by the police officer, no matter what their officer rank is, they have the right to investigate the same and have the authority under this law. This bill has also enhanced penalties for guilty people. According to the law, the penalty for the first time of being involved in the indecent representation of women will be imprisonment for two to three years and a fine between fifty thousand rupees to one lakh rupees. If more such crimes are committed, the penalty would be imprisonment for at least five years which can lead up to seven years of jail time. They will also be penalized with a fine between one lakh rupees to five lakh rupees.
With the amendment of this bill, there will be a decrease in the number of offenders who are involved in the indecent representation of women. Women are seen as individuals and have their rights and dignity. If anyone tries to mess with it, the law makes sure that punishment is provided accordingly.