WCD seeks to widen scope of Indecent Representation of Women Act (1986)
The Bill not only seeks to widen the scope of the law to cover newer media and technological advancements, such as the Internet, cable, multimedia messaging, OTT and apps, but to also strengthen those already under its purview.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has proposed the widening of the scope of the Indecent Representation of Women Act, 1986 to include objectionable advertisements in digital or electronic form, through SMS, MMS, as well as hoardings.
This is in keeping with the technological and communications revolution and the subsequent rise of social media since the enactment of the Act in 1986. The Bill not only seeks to widen the scope of the law to cover newer media and technological advancements, such as the Internet, cable, multimedia messaging, OTT and apps, but to also strengthen those already under its purview.
The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2012 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in December 2012, and was later referred to the relevant Department of the Parliament Standing Committee for consideration.
The amendment seeks a similar penalty to that of the Information Technology Act, 2000, and the establishing of a Centralised Authority under the supervision of the National Commission of Women (NCW).
The Ministry has proposed amendments put forth by the Parliamentary Standing Committee and recommendations by the National Commission for Women, after consultation with civil society.
The government is also contemplating that the Centralised Authority be headed by the Member Secretary of the NCW, with representatives from the Advertising Standards Council, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and one member with experience working on issues pertaining to women.
The Centralised Authority will be vested with the power to receive and investigate any complaints relating to the indecent representation of women through advertisements, writings, paintings, publications, figures or any other manner.
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