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SURVEY REPORT

This survey report has been prepared by the volunteers of Lawpanch under the mentorship and guidance of Nidhi Ma’am. This report is submitted to Lawpanch for research purpose and to create awareness. The volunteers conducting this survey were –

  1. Aravind Kannan
  2. Sherry George
  3. Shikha Rathod
  4. Sudhanshu Sachan

Aim and objective

The aim of this survey is to create awareness among people about the major offences pertaining to their area. The report also encompasses the various laws on these offences. It includes the remedies and recourses that are available to the victim.

Methodology

The report has been prepared on the basis of primary research by conducting survey through google forms. This primary research was done only for the purpose of collecting data to find the offence majorly taking place in the area. Then the doctrinal method of research was used by studying various report of committees and commissions, statute books and commentaries, etc.

About LawPanch

Lawpanch work to spread the law by lighting the lamp of awareness. Lawpanch is set up with the mission to spread law of land even to the grass-root level of India by fieldwork or social media campaign through selecting different volunteers of law field whether the student or graduates. The awareness programs are there to make every person in the country aware of their right and duties towards themselves, society and country. Law provides every individual certain rights and duties which is unknown to a large group of the Indian population so, Let’s spread law is the motto of Lawpanch. It also trains young minds through an internship program. It helps the students by solving their problem relating to the law field.

Analysis of the offence of robbery by Aravind Kannan

Location – Vijayalakshmi puram (Ambattur)

Offence – Robbery

What Robbery is? Or Definition of Robbery:

 The definition as set out in legislation is as follows: “A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person of being then and there subjected to force”

What is IPC section 392:

Section 392 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) which is Punishment for robbery says “whoever commits robbery shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and, if the robbery be committed on the highway between sunset and sunrise, the imprisonment may be extended to fourteen years”.

Common type of robbery:

The most common type of robbery committed is on public streets & alleyways with a weapon, mostly when dark, which otherwise is also known as mugging.

Among the types of robbery is armed robbery, which involves the use of a weapon, and aggravated robbery, when someone brings with them a deadly weapon or something that appears to be a deadly weapon. Highway robbery or mugging takes place outside or in a public place such as a sidewalk, street, or parking lot. Carjacking is the act of stealing a car from a victim by force. Extortion is the threat to do something illegal, or the offer to not do something illegal, in the event that goods are not given, primarily using words instead of actions.

Reporting a Robbery:

 Confirm you did not grant consent.

 Robbery is defined as the taking of something valuable from your control or custody through the use of force or threat of force. Accordingly, you were not robbed if you let someone borrow something which they haven’t returned.

If someone refuses to return an item, even after you ask for it back, then you have also been the victim of a crime (theft) and should report it.

Note the robber’s appearance.

 Try to remember what he or she looks like so that you can tell the police. If possible, you should write down important details while they are fresh in your memory. Try to note the following:

  • the robber’s approximate age
  • the robber’s gender and race
  • the robber’s height and weight
  • physical details, such as eye color or hair color
  • distinctive characteristics, such as facial deformities or tattoos, or an unusual way of talking or walking
  • the robber’s clothing
  • whether the robber had a weapon

Stay safe.

  • You shouldn’t do anything that would provoke the robber to escalate the use of force. If you can’t safely flee from the robber, then remember the following:
  • Always stay calm. Calmness will reduce the likelihood that the robber will harm you. Furthermore, you will remember details better if you remain calm. Take several deep breaths and try to stay in control of your emotions.
  • Act submissive. Do whatever the robber says and don’t unnecessarily ask question. Always make sure the robber can see your hands. If you need to move your hands to where the robber can’t see them, then get permission
  • Don’t stare at the robber’s face—this will signal that you are trying to remember his or her appearance. Instead, cast short glances in the robber’s direction.

Leave your home as you found it.

  •  If you are robbed in your home (or your car or office), leave the crime scene so that you don’t contaminate it. The robber could have left behind evidence, which the police could gather. You shouldn’t touch anything.
  • Instead, you can step outside your house or business and make a phone call to the police. Wait for them to show up at the scene before going back inside. You don’t want to spoil any evidence.

Call the police.

  • To report the robbery, call your local police department. If you do not know the number, then contact the telephone operator and ask to be connected.
  • If you are not in immediate danger, then you can call the non-emergency number.
  • If your phone was stolen, go to the nearest business and tell them you were robbed. Asked if you can use their phone or if they can call for you.

Answer follow-up questions.

  • You may be asked to come into the police station to fill out a report or to meet with a detective. Take all evidence you have (including your witness description) to the police station. Write down the name of any officer you speak to.
  • Be sure to only share copies of any evidence, as you may need the original at a later date.
  • Don’t forget to get a copy of the police report. You will need it in case you file an insurance claim.

Pick the robber out of a lineup.

  •  If the police have a suspect, they may invite you to the station to view a lineup. At the lineup, the suspect along with other fillers will stand before you for your observation.
  • The police will begin the lineup by telling you that the suspect may or may not be in the lineup. Then you will be asked to identify anyone who you think looks like the suspect. If none look familiar to you, then say so.
  • Sometimes, the police will show you a series of photographs in a “photo lineup.” They will then ask you to look at the photographs and identify anyone who looks like the suspect.

Document your total loss.

  •  Once you feel safe, you should go through your home or business and document everything that has been taken from you. Write up a list of items.
  • Also try to find any receipts or credit card statements related to stolen items. Also find any related photographs or owner manual.

Robbery Prevention Tips:

  • Trust your instincts.  If you sense trouble, get away as soon as possible.
  • Show confidence.  Walk at a steady pace, keep your head up and avoid carrying lots of packages…It can make you look defenceless.
  • Don’t look like an easy target.  Robbers want someone who will provide the least resistance. If you look like you know where you are going, walk with your head up and eyes alert, you will most likely be left alone.

Be observant.

  • Remain alert and observe the people around you.  Know who is walking behind and in front of you. Things to watch for include suspicious persons or vehicles, people who are wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather (e.g. a long or heavy coat in warm weather), and people just loitering around.
  • Walk in well-lit areas. If possible, do not walk alone. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you think you are being followed, go to a crowded area.
  • Do not carry large amounts of money.
  • Carry keys in your hand.
  • If you observe suspicious persons or activities, call the police to investigate.

If You Are Robbed:

  • Remain calm.
  • Make personal safety the number one priority.  Money and property can be replaced. 
  • Carefully observe the physical characteristics of the robber.  Be a good witness. Note as much detail about the suspect(s) as possible.  (Age, race, height, facial hair, speech, clothing,  odor, etc.)
  • When it is safe, notify the police by calling 911.
  • Police dispatch will ask for the location of the robbery, whether anyone is injured, the exact time the robber(s) left and their direction of travel, the kind of weapon used, description of  the vehicle, the robber(s) description, their clothing, appearance or unique features, money or items taken, and other information to assist responding officers.
  • Protect the scene of the crime. Be careful not to touch anything to avoid destroying evidence. 
  • Ask any witnesses to stay until police arrive.  If they cannot stay, get their name, address and phone number. 
  • Write down all suspect information immediately and do not discuss the robbery with others until questioned by the police.  Comparing notes could cause memories to be skewed.

Government measures against robbery:

Reducing the number of robberies:

Robbery is a serious crime with far-reaching consequences for the victims and their family and friends. The government wants to reduce the number of robberies to no more than 1,900 a year.

Combating robberies:

The Robbery Task Force has been established to reduce the number of robberies and increase the number of criminals caught. The task force has prepared the Integrated Robbery Action Programme. To take the 100-plus actions and measures in the programme, the Union Minister of Law and Justice has introduced the national Violent Property Crime Programme.

The actions include:

  • appointing a national public prosecutor responsible for dealing with robberies;
  • establishing dedicated teams in all police regions to investigate robberies, e.g. by conducting forensic investigations and interviewing witnesses;
  • introducing targeted police surveillance and searches at places where many robberies occur;
  • encouraging preventive measures by private parties such as the use of surveillance cameras and PIN payments;
  • individual supervision and aftercare for robbers, such as banning orders, reporting obligations and help finding housing and work;
  • victim support, The measures will strengthen the position of municipalities and help the mayor, chief of police and public prosecutor in the fight against this type of crime.

Analysis of the offence of bullying by Sherry C. George

Bullying in India is believed to mostly be present in Social Media and in educational institutions. Sometimes it also takes a form of insult to a human being based on their looks and sometimes on the fact that they are poor. According to IndiaSpend 1 in 10 adolescents faces cyberbullying and the other half don’t report[1]. Therefore, India is still battling with cyber bullies and trying to curb it with various punishments allotted under the Information Technology Act, 2008. I will be reporting my broodings that I as a part of my locality had witnessed on the bullying done to my people and how they have been coping with it.

Location – 24 North PARGANAS district in ARJUNPUR, India.

Offence – Bullying

Definitions of Crimes committed in my area

  • Bullying as defined by National Centre against “Bullying is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and psychological harm. It can involve an individual or group misusing their power, or perceived power, over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening.”[2]
  • On the other hand Criminal Intimidation can be defined as defined under section 503 of the Indian Penal Code is as follows “Whoever threatens another with an injury to his person, reputation of any one in whom that person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits criminal Intimidation.”[3]
  • For better understanding here is an example- If A warns B to remove his posts online or threatens him to rape B’s sister if he does not stop working at a firm. Then in this case A is guilty of Criminal Intimidation.

Here’s an Incident that will clearly depict the amount of Bullying and intimidation has been received by my neighbours

I have been living in North Bengal for about 22 years now and this was probably the third time a group of young boys would come up to my locality and harass my neighbours who were unfortunately poor. I live in the 24 North PARGANAS district in ARJUNPUR where we all our houses are mostly stuck to each other. It’s been a long time that bullies were amidst us threatening the whole locality. I knew these men since I was a kid and they were teen then but now they have become men who are basically walking scarecrows of our area. There was once an incident that went out of hand where my neighbour’s daughter went out to play with her brother along with her father and found that gang passing by but did not say a word to them. While they were playing these men parked their bikes near them and started watching the siblings play. The next moment a hard ball flew over and hit one of these men and they instantly marched towards my neighbour’s home and started abusing the women of that house. They used vulgar words which were grubby and mucky to hear. The whole locality heard them but none wished to move out and hit them as all of them feared that if they voiced out the women in their homes will be in danger. The next moment these boys fought with the children’s dad and hit him many times broke in their home all five of them. They abused and slapped him and two other men groped his wife and kids while the whole locality watched this happen. I was petrified and wanted to make a call in order to complain but these men by then warned everyone in our locality to keep our mouths shut. While leaving they took away two new cell phones and also abused his sister in law aloud. I regretted not making a call and these men have kept on bullying us. Each and every person is still scared of their names and existence. Bullying is a social issue today and many localities have been subjected to this. There are basically no laws on bullying and I wish all the police stations were strict enough to check on the poor people and such localities are facing such issues daily. Many people tend to keep quiet, stay indoors but that is an indication that this problem will never stop unless strict action is taken against them. This bullying in many places turn into criminal intimidation under section 506 of the Indian Penal Code where many of these people say such obnoxious things that no one would have imagined in their worst dreams. For instance, many bullies warn a good man of the locality that in case he did not stop working his sister will be raped. This is what bullying merged with intimidated sounds like.

How are they coping with this?

  • They remain indoors mostly and tend to keep quite
  • They are poor therefore they are scared to file a complaint in the P.S
  • The whole locality is scared to death while these boys walk past our area.
  • No one feels like fighting for the other as they feel unsafe. They stop because of the fact that their daughters will be attacked.

Major problems we face in our locality

  • The Police that works here are probably ganged up with these boys.
  • They do not take strict actions on time instead humiliate you with questions.
  • No person who is poor will ever think of going there as they are penniless.
  • They receive no free aid.
  • The government usually does not focus on such crimes.

Laws on Bullying

  • For Criminal Intimidation– Two years or with fine or both (Under section 506 IPC)
  • For Cyber Bullying– Mostly dealt under the Information Technology Act of 2008 and also under the Indian Penal Code.
  • For Normal bullying or Ragging– One can go to the nearest Police Station and file a complaint under sections like- SEC 294- obscene acts or songs, SEC 339- Wrongful restraint, SEC 323- voluntarily causing hurt, SEC 326- Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by weapons or other means.
  •  

Analysis of the offence of Sexual Harassment by Shikha Rathod

Location: Bhuj Kachchh

Offence: Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment at workplace is considered violation of women’s rights to equality, life and liberty. It creates an insecure and hostile work environment, which discourage women’s participation in work, thereby adversely affecting their social and economic empowerment and the goal of inclusive growth. With this idea the legislature formulated the sexual harassment of women at workplace Act 2013.

 The need for such legislation was observed first time by supreme court, in vishakha v state of Rajashthan.In the absence of any law at that time providing measures to check the evil of sexual harassment of working women, the Supreme Court, in exercise of power available under Article 32 of the Constitution, framed guidelines to be followed at all workplaces or institutions, until a legislation is enacted for the purpose. The Supreme Court incorporated basic principles of human rights enshrined in Constitution of India under Article 14, 15, 19(1)(g) and 21, and provisions of Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which has been ratified in 1993 by the Government of India. The guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court were to be treated as the law declared under Article 141 of the Constitution.

What is sexual harassment?

According to (Section 354A IPC), Sexual harassment is the: Unwelcome touching or other physical contact. Asking or demanding sex or any other sexual activity. Making remarks which are of a sexual nature.

Through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, Section 354 A was added to the Indian Penal Code that stipulates what consists of a sexual harassment offence and what the penalties shall be for a man committing such an offence. Penalties range from one to three years imprisonment and/or a fine. Additionally, with sexual harassment being a crime, employers are obligated to report offences

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work.

Sexual harassing behavior include-

  • Unwelcome touching,
  • Requests for sex,
  • Sexually explicit pictures or posters,
  • Unwanted invitations to go out on dates,
  • staring or leering,
  • Intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body,
  • Unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person,
  • Insults or taunts based on sex,
  • Sexually explicit physical contact,
  • Sexually explicit emails or SMS text messages,

How to prevent sexual harassment?

  • Understand the definition of sexual harassment
  • Incorporate training on harassment and discriminatory treatment in your workplace
  • Ensure your workplace has a sexual harassment policy
  • Raise awareness
  • Deal with any allegation and concern immediately
  • Have a dedicated person in place to review any allegation

Analysis of offence of liquor consumption prepared by Sudhanshu Sachan

Location – Digha, Patna, Bihar, India

Offence – Trafficking and Consumption of liquor

Reasons of offence – The Government of Bihar has banned the consumption of liquor in the State. This has made Bihar a ‘dry’ state. The Central Government has imposed lockdown to control the spread of the pandemic. All the people are locked down in their homes and there are travel restrictions imposed. Because of this, the people of the state are unable to go to other states to quench their thirst for liquor. So, the various offenders have started the illicit trafficking of liquor so that people can consume them in their homes. The trafficking of liquor as well as the consumption of liquor is a serious offence in the State of Bihar. Various media reports have also affirmed the same. One of them has been mentioned above. The problem of liquor consumption leads to commission of other offences such as domestic violence, fights etc.

Laws relating to the offence

The provisions of the law banning liquor in Bihar were passed on 5th April, 2016. The provisions include :

  1. Family members above the age of 18 shall be held liable if the offence has been committed inside the home.
  2. It is a cognizable offence.
  3. Failure to inform the police about consumption of liquor will also attract punishment.
  4. Special courts to try prohibition acts.
  5. Even anyone who stores utensils or apparatus which are required for making liquor shall also be liable.

Other redressal mechanisms-

A special toll-free number was launched by the Bihar Government. This number is 18003456268 or 15545. On this number, any person can call from any corner of the state at any time. The caller on these numbers will not incur any charge. And moreover, the identity of the caller will not be revealed.

Summary of the major offence and laws on them

Robbery:

A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person of being then and there subjected to force”

Punishment for robbery:

Whoever commits robbery shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Sections for Robbery:

Sec. 390 of Indian penal code

Sec. 392 of Indian penal code Punishment for robbery

Sec. 393 of Indian penal code Attempt to commit Robbery

Section 394– Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery

Bullying:

For Cyber Bullying– Mostly dealt under the Information Technology Act of 2008 and also under the Indian Penal Code.

For Normal bullying or Ragging– One can go to the nearest Police Station and file a complaint under sections like- SEC 294- obscene acts or songs, SEC 339- Wrongful restraint, SEC 323- voluntarily causing hurt, SEC 326- Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by weapons or other means.

Sexual Harassment

Section 354A IPC, Sexual harassment is the unwelcome touching or other physical contact. Asking or demanding sex or any other sexual activity. Making remarks which are of a sexual nature.

Through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, Section 354 A was added to the Indian Penal Code that stipulates what consists of a sexual harassment offence and what the penalties shall be for a man committing such an offence. Penalties range from one to three years imprisonment and/or a fine. Additionally, with sexual harassment being a crime, employers are obligated to report offences

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work.

Liquor consumption:

The Bihar Prohibition and Excise (Amendment) Act, 2018 lays down provisions banning the consumption of liquor.

Conclusion

The report identifies the various offences that majorly happen in the aforementioned areas. The report gives complete information about the major offences including their mode of commission, reasons for their commission and the punishment to be inflicted upon the offenders. Along with the legal aspects, it also covers the various other recourses that are available to a victim. The victim can use the helpline and can contact NGO’s whenever they require help.

The report primarily aimed to create awareness among the common masses living in the vicinity of the volunteers. The volunteers created awareness among the masses by communicating with them through phone calls, video calls and other methods of digital communication. A huge mass has been made aware about the remedies they have in case they are a victim to these offences. Through this report, the volunteers would now urge the various other stakeholders such as NGO’s and other self help organisations to come together can help the needy get justice.  


[1] Rhea Maheshwari,“I In 10 Indian Adolescents faces Cyberbullying, Half Don’t report-Study”16 JULY, 3.38 PM, https://www.indiaspend.com/1-in-10-indian-adolescents-faces-cyberbullying-half-dont-report-study/

[2] . National Centre Against Bullying, 16JULY, 3.15PM , https://www.ncab.org.au/bullying-advice/bullying-for-parents/definition-of-bullying/

[3] . National Centre Against Bullying, 16JULY, 3.15PM , https://www.ncab.org.au/bullying-advice/bullying-for-parents/definition-of-bullying/

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