Review of Laws and Legislative Measures Affecting Women
by National Commission for Women (NCW)

No. 2: Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987

  • Existing Provisions
  • Proposed Amendments by Government
  • Suggested amendments by NCW
  • Consequential Amendments Suggested in other Statutes

Existing Provision

Preamble Definition

Long title
S.1 ( i )
S.2 (i) (a)
S.2 (i) (d)
S..2 (i) (e)
S.2 (2)
Part II
Ss. 3 - 5
Part III
Part III
S.6 (1)
S.6 (3)
S.8 (1)
Part IV (Ss. 9 - 14)
Part V (Ss.16 - 7)
Indian Penal Code
Criminal Procedure Code - S.39 (1) (v)

Evidence Act - Ss 113, 113A.

Proposed Amendments by Government

  1. In the Preamble 'nowhere enjoined by religions to' be omitted.

  2. Definition of Sati to include putting an end, in whatever manner, the life of the helpless women.

  3. S.3 to be omitted as attempt to commit Sati not an offence.

  4. S.4 Sati to be Sati murder.

  5. Emphasis on preventive measures.

Suggested Amendments by NCW

Besides Government proposals, NCW recommended:

  1. Substitution of title 'An Act to provide for additional, ancillary or incidental matters connected with the prevention of Sat murder'.

  2. Preamble omitted.

  3. In S. 1 ( 1 ) for 'Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act'. 'Commission of Sati Murder (Prevention) Additional Provisions Act' to be substituted.

  4. Omit S.2 (1) (a).

  5. Substitution of S. 2 (1) (d) to define court to mean 'a District and Sessions Court'.

  6. Substitution of 'Sati murder' for 'Sati' in S. 2 (1) (3).

  7. In S.2 ( 2 ) 'as in the code' and 'or the code' to be omitted.

  8. Part II (Ss. 3 - 5) to be omitted.

  9. Part III; for 'Sati' the words 'Sati murder' to be substituted.

  10. In S. 6 (1) 'any abetment thereof' to be omitted.

  11. In S. 6 (3) for 'any other provision of this Act,' the words 'or any other law' to be substituted.

  12. In S.8 (1), for words 'any offence under this Act', 'Sati murder' to be substituted.

  13. S.8 ( 2 ) to be substituted to read as - 'every Collector or District Magistrate acting under sub-section (1) shall report seizure to the Court and shall await the orders of such court for the disposal of the same.

  14. Part IV (Ss. 9-14) to be omitted.

  15. Part V (Ss. 16 & 17) to be omitted.

  16. In S. 18, for 'sub-section ( 1 ) of S.4", the words 'S.303A of the Indian Penal Code' to be substituted.

  17. In S. 18 for 'Sati', wherever it occurs, 'Sati murder' to be substituted.

  18. S. 19 of the Commission of Sati Murder (Prevention) Additional provisions Act, 1987, to be amended as follows: Amendment of Act 43 of 1951 - In the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951):-

    1. In section 8, in sub-secjtion (2), for the second proviso, the following proviso shall be substituted, namely: 'Provided further that a person convicted by a Court for the contravention of section 303A and section 303B of the Indian Penal code (45 of 1860) or any of the provisions of the Commission of Sati Murder (Prevention) Additional Provisions Act, 1987 shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be so disqualified for a further period of 5 years since his release'.

    2. In S. 123 for clause (3B), the following clause to be substituted - 'The propagation of the practice or the commission of sati murder or its glorification y a candidate or his agent or any other person, with the consent of the candidate or his election agent for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting election of any candidate. Explanation _ For the purpose of this , "Sati murder' and 'glorification' shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in sections 303A of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).'
Consequential Amendments Suggested in other Statutes

No.3: Indian Penal Code

  1. Insertion of S.303A.Sati murder - 1) Whoever burns or buries alive ��.to prevent the commission of sati murder'.

  2. Add s. 303B glorification of sati murder as an offence.

No. 4: Criminal Procedure Code:

  1. S.39 (1) (v) duty of public to give information relating to Sati murer and its glorification.

  2. Amendment: Ss. 303A and 303B - cognizable, nonbailable and prescribing the punishment, Punishment may extend to Rs.30,000.00.

No. 5: Indian Evidence Act:

Insertion of S.113 AB, casting duty on the person charged with an offence under S.303A with onus to prove otherwise.

General Suggestions and Remarks

  1. Offence as Sati murder.

  2. To treat the offence of Sati murder in the general penal law.

  3. To study the special courts and special prosecutors under the Act.

  4. Noticed delay in constituting special courts, in appointing judges, public prosecutors delayed longer than ordinary courts.


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