The Prevention of Cruelty against Women and Children Act 2000 (also referred to as the Prevention of Women and Child Repression Act 2000) was amended in 2003. This Act was formulated to protect women and children from heinous crimes such as rape, dowry, grievous injury. The Act makes provision for the punishment of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. The law also has put restrictions on the media so that the victims’ privacy is protected. The introduction of the concept of the safe custody is one of the most important features of the law. This act introduced capital punishment in cases of rape, and grievous injuries.
The important features of the Act are:
- Speedy investigation and trial of cases will be held in tribunals and all crimes under the ambit of the law are non-bailable, with few exceptions;
- A summary tribunal titled Women and Children Repression Tribunal would be formed for every district town to dispose of the related cases;
- The tribunal will complete the trial process within 180 days;
- The investigation should be completed within 60 days of the order by a magistrate or filing of the case;
- Under a provision of the law, a rapist will pay for the upkeep of a child born as consequence of rape.