Help regarding harassment through unwanted telephone calls.


Introduction
Unwanted and harassing phone calls frequently target the current generation, in which one person abuses, threatens, or harms the dignity of another. Because the person on the other end of the phone line is absolutely unknown, the situation becomes even more serious. In India, such calls are considered criminal offences and must be reported to the appropriate authorities as soon as feasible.

According to a survey published in 2020 by “Truecaller,” nearly 8 out of 10 Indian women face harassment and improper sexual phone calls at least once a week. Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, and Pune are the cities that are most affected. Indian women have a habit of providing their phone numbers in shopping malls, restaurants, and businesses, as well as when filling out forms. When it comes to taking action against such calls, however, only 12% of women reported them to the police, while the remainder simply blocked the number. Blank calls are also considered harassment. The majority of these calls are made anonymously with the sole intent of threatening or harassing a person.

According to police sources, occurrences of phone call harassment surged dramatically after Section 66A of the Information Technology Act of 2000 (penalty for sending unpleasant messages through communication services, etc.) was set down by the Supreme Court in 2015. A college student received indecent messages and phone calls from an unknown number in one of the cases. The number belonged to one of her classmates, according to the authorities.

According to the poll, the caller was almost always someone the victim knew.
How to Identify a Harassment Phone Call

The term “harassment” does not apply to all unsolicited phone calls. The following are the
conditions that must be met for an unwelcome phone call to become harassing:
 Caller’s purpose is to harass or threaten you by calling the phone repeatedly.
 Comments, recommendations, proposals, or requests that are indecent or vulgar.
 Continuing the dialogue without revealing his/her name.
 Abusing or disparaging others over the phone with the goal of harassing, remain silent, play threatening music, or breathe heavily.


Remedies in India
The victim of phone call harassment should contact the police and file a complaint in the general notebook as soon as possible. The victim can record the caller’s gender, voice tone, call date and time, conversation specifics, and estimated age as evidence to aid the authorities in identifying the criminal. The victim must submit a FIR if the harassment on the phone continues for an extended period of time.
In India, the provisions under which the harasser can be charged are as follows:

Section 354A of Indian Penal Code: Under this clause, anyone who requests sexual favours or makes sexually coloured remarks is guilty of sexual harassment, which is punished by up to three years in prison and/or a fine.
Section 354D of Indian Penal Code: According to this law, if a man contacts a woman repeatedly for the purpose of initiating personal engagement despite her disinterest, he will be sentenced to three years in prison and a fine.
Section 506 of Indian Penal Code: Any individual who commits the crime of criminal intimidation is subject to a sentence of up to seven years in jail and/or a fine under this clause.
Section 507 of Indian Penal Code: If a person uses anonymous communications to threaten or harass a woman, he shall be sentenced to two years in jail in addition to the punishment specified under Section 506 of the IPC.
Section 509 of Indian Penal Code: According to this clause, if someone insults your modesty over the phone, he can be sentenced to up to one year in prison and a fine. Journalist Barkha Dutt received threats for her reporting on JNU, therefore she filed a FIR at the Greater Kailash Police Station in South Delhi. The harasser was quickly identified, and a case was filed under IPC Sections 354D and 509.

Position in other countries
Harassment over the phone is prohibited by the Federal Communications Act, especially 47 U.S. Code 223 and various state statutes, which further include legal remedies and enforcement measures.

Phone calls and texts that are vulgar, repetitive, or threatening and sent with the goal of harassing the recipient are illegal in California under Penal Code 653m PC. Such offences are punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.

The act of continuously ringing the phone or making anonymous calls with the goal of harassing, abusing, or annoying someone is punishable by up to 180 days in prison and a fine of up to $ 2000 under the Texas Penal Code. If the caller has already been charged with harassment, he will face an additional sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $4000.

In Canada, regularly communicating a person with the goal of harassing or threatening them is punishable by a sentence of not less than ten years in jail under Section 264 of the Criminal Code.

Conclusion
Although there are rules prohibiting harassing phone calls, these concerns can also be addressed in other ways. Harassment can be reduced by not revealing personal numbers and other contact information to strangers, random shops, and social media. Another method used by the majority of Indian women and girls is to hang up the phone, block the number, and designate it as spam. All of these solutions, however, are just temporary, and they will not prevent the harasser from repeating the offence on someone else. As a result, it is strongly advised that such harassers be reported as soon as possible, and that stern legal action be taken against them to avoid future harassment.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE SAME, DO LET ME KNOW.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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