Strong protest by “National Family Harmony Society®” on proposal of Sexual Offender’s Register
Your Request/Grievance has been registered vide Registration number PRSEC/E/2015/12036 .Please quote the same in your future correspondance.
23rd December 2015
The President Of India,
New Delhi, India – 110 004
Subject: Strong protest by “National Family Harmony Society®” on proposal of Sexual Offender’s Register
About National Family Harmony Society®: “National Family Harmony Society®” NFHS is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) promoting the cause of “family harmony” and “gender equality”. It is registered under “The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960” and is based in Bangalore. We have branches in more than 16 states and in abroad too. We have approximately 16000 members all over India. To know more about us please visit http://www.family-harmony.org / www.498a.org.in.
This is regarding the recent news reports appearing in a section of the media regarding the proposal from Ministry of Home affairs for registry of sex offenders, convicted of sexual offences ranging from voyeurism and stalking to rape and aggravated sexual assault. There is no doubt that we need to do everything to ensure safety of women but while doing so we seems to be guided by emotions and sentiments rather than by past experience.
I as president of National Family Harmony Society register my protest on the said proposal on below counts.
Firstly, before drafting such important legislation, no public consultation has been done which is the normal practice. Even in case of debate over the validity of National Judicial Accountable Commission – NJAC, Supreme Court has invited suggestions from common public and NGOs but before framing such important legislation, Government has not deemed it necessary to initiate public opinion.
Secondly, we know that the victim is severely traumatized in case of the crime. The cases received at our NGO with respect to 498A IPC and Domestic Violence Act shows that when these laws are misused and false cases are filed then the accused is so traumatized that they are driven on the verge of suicide. So we demand that those filing false cases and those who misuse the law should also be penalized and should be shamed so that only those who have been genuinely victimized use the law. All those who misuse the law should also be named in the separate register.
Thirdly, we strongly feel that just adding a person based on the conviction of the lower court may lead to severe damage to the accused in case he is acquitted by the higher courts. So a person’s name should not be added in the Sex Offender’s Register (SOR) unless he has exhausted all his legal and fundamental right till from Supreme Court.
Fourthly, if such persons who are named in the register want to reform then such register will come in the way of their integration in the society. No one will employ them because there name exist in the register. If such people fail to get employment due to this then they may go to any extent for their livelihood. This will prove to be counter-productive.
Fifthly, I feel, placing the man’s name on the registry, which is public, amounts to “cruel and/or unusual punishment” under the Constitution. Having his name on the searchable database will hurt his ability to find jobs, affect his family life and resulted in depression.
Sixthly, bringing new laws for the ever changing society is needed but what is also needed is proper checks and balances to prevent its misuse because our criminal system is based on a single innocent should not be punished. This is very important in the light of thousands of incidents recently reported which were found to be false. There have been incidents where a person was convicted on false complaint and were later acquitted by High Court or Supreme Court.
With profound respects, Jai Hind!!!
P Suresh, Mobile-9880141531
President, National Family Harmony Society