Stalking a woman is a crime in India, but the reverse is almost not even considered as a serious charge. If a man forces himself upon a woman, he is violating her consent and sexually harassing her, but if a woman forces herself upon a man, the society laughs and asks the man to regard himself as ‘lucky’.
Well, the courts in UAE may sound stringent to the democratic world, however, some of their laws do ensure absolute balance when it comes to Gender Equality. A civil court in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has ordered a young Arab woman to pay a fine of Dh10,000 (approximately Rs 2 Lakhs) for stalking a young Gulf man, taking photos of him without his consent, and sharing them on social media.
- The man told the court that the defendant followed him to the parking lot of a shopping centre, took many snaps of him using her cell phone, and shared them via her WhatsApp account
- The woman denied stalking the complainant and claimed that she clicked his photo only because he was following and harassing her at the shopping centre to report him to the law enforcement bodies
- The court turned down the woman’s “baseless and unsupported” claims that the plaintiff had harassed and annoyed her
- The lawyer added that her client – the young man – used to know the defendant, but they broke up and stopped seeing or talking to each other following some dispute
- He never ever harassed or stalked her at any time, though
- She pointed out that the defendant used the photos of her client in creating a video to mock him, and shared it with others through her WhatsApp account as affirmed in the case documents
According to the woman, she did not share his picture with anyone. She quoted:
I sent the only photo of him to the CID men so that they could identify and track him down, and arrest him for harassing me.
The man’s lawyer told the court that the suspect did take snaps of his client using her mobile phone, chased him to the food court and parking lot until he left the centre. He also supported his claims with a video footage recorded by the surveillance cameras at the parking lot of the shopping centre, showing the defendant stalking his client and taking pictures of him without his consent. The man’s lawyer told court,
She kept taking photos of my client.
- The woman who was found guilty of bothering the complainant, had also filed a false case against him after which he was kept in police custody for 39 days
- This had caused the man psychological trauma, thus the defendant was ordered to pay the court charges and advocate fees apart from the Dh10,000 fine as compensation to the man who was held for no rightful reason but mere claims
- The RAK Misdemeanour Court had earlier convicted the woman and asked her to pay a fine of Dh5,000 for violating the privacy of the plaintiff
- But the man insisted on approaching the civil court
Why can’t Indian courts also used similar yardstick for women who are found guilty of such gender crimes? In 99.9% cases in India, all that the man gets is a mere acquittal from a false case. There are no charges, implications or fines on the woman who dares to file a false case.