The Bill has definitions about harassments and lists of several instances that will be deemed to be harassment.

The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to a law to protect women, the first of its kind in the country. It will be piloted in the Assembly session beginning February 1. But it dropped the original proposal to impose capital punishment for a woman’s death owing to harassment in tune with the Verma Committee recommendation and stuck to life imprisonment in cases of death along with fine. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, in his post-Cabinet press briefing, said the Bill was intended to bring in legislation with punitive provisions to safeguard the privacy and dignity of women.

Definitions

The Bill has definitions about harassments and lists of several instances that will be deemed to be harassment. The punishment for harassment is seven years’ imprisonment with fine.

The Bill puts the onus on persons in charge of premises, be it educational institution, cinema theatre, place of worship or cyberspace, to inform the police about the occurrence of an offence of harassment against women or forward to the police the complaint, if any, made by the victim or any other person about the harassment of a woman.

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