Even as it entered Week 2, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s latest Hindi film “Pink” that talks about social discrimination against women is still receiving rave reviews and has already made a Box Office collection worth Rs. 39.06 cr.
Directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and produced by Shoojit Sircar, the film released on Sept 16 and stars Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Angad Bedi, Dhritiman Chatterjee and Piyush Mishra.
Underlining a woman’s freedom to her sexuality,”Pink” sends out a strong message that when a woman says “no”, it means “no”.
The courtroom drama also highlights lesser known legal rights that every woman should know.
Here’s the list of the already existing yet less aware legal rights that Indian women have:
1. Zero FIR:
One of the three protagonists of the film, Meenal (Taapsee Pannu) goes to file a First Information Report (FIR) against Rajveer (Angad Bedi) and his friends for threatening her and her two friends after she accidently injures one of them in self-defence.
The local police official refuses to take her complaint. Later it was a senior official who introduces her to Zero FIR.
The concept of Zero FIR means an FIR can be filed at any police station irrespective of the place of incident.
The Station House Officer (SHO) of any police station is under legal obligation to file your FIR even if the crime scene does not fall under his jurisdiction. The officer can later transfer the Zero FIR to the concerned police station.
2. Section 354:
In the film, lawyer Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) charges Rajveer and his friends under Section 354 of The Indian Penal Code (IPC).
A woman can charge any person under this section who assaults or acts in a manner to outrage her modesty.
In the words of law, the Section states: “Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.—Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”
3. Section 503:
In “Pink”, Meenal and her friends also slap Section 503 of the IPC on Rajveer and his friends.
The legal definition of Section 503 of the IPC is: ” Criminal intimidation.—Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the 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.
‘Explanation.—A threat to injure the reputation of any deceased person in whom the person threatened is interested, is within this section.
‘Illustration A, for the purpose of inducing B to desist from prosecuting a civil suit, threatens to burn B’s house. A is guilty of criminal intimidation.”
4. Women can get bail on weekends:
In the film, when Meenal gets arrested on a Friday, her friends Falak (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) found it impossible to arrange bail the same day, which meant, Meenal had to stay in jail till the court reopened on Monday.
It was Deepak Sehgal who came to their rescue and explained that women and minors can get bail on weekends and that the bail proceedings can be heard at the judge’s residence on Saturday and Sunday.
5. Section 164:
During interrogation, Meenal was asked some questions which were too personal.
The judge (Dhritiman Chatterjee) offered her to avail Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, under which she could answer the questions In Camera, that is, privately, in presence of only one police officer and a woman constable.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.