Staff Reporter : A writ petition was filed with the High Court on Thursday seeking its order on the government to amend the relevant law for treating the violation of males as rape. Three persons collectively submitted the petition as a public interest litigation to the HC requesting it to order the government to amend Section 375 of Bangladesh Penal Code incorporating the word "person" in place of the word "woman" in the section. The petitioners are Dr Soumen Bhowmick, a social worker; Tasmia Nuhaiya Ahmed, Supreme Court lawyer; and Dr Masum Billah, director of human rights organisation 'Empowerment through Law of the Common People'. In the petition, they also urged the HC to ask the law ministry to form a committee consisting the members of judiciary, legal academia and renowned civil society members to submit a report on the progress of amending Section 375 of the Penal Code to the court every month. The petitioners also sought a ruling from the court calling upon the respondents to show cause as to why section 375 of the Penal Code shall not be declared to have been passed without any lawful authority. Citing the petition, Tapas Kanti Baul, lawyer for the writ petitioners, told the reporters that under section 375 of the Penal Code, only if a woman is sexually assaulted by a man it is treated as rape. The female victims can seek justice for the offence under this provision of the Penal Code. But, there is no provision in the section for treating the violation of males as an offence and therefore, the male victims have no scope for getting justice and remedy under the provision, he said. Lawyer Tapas also said incidents of violations of males and minor boys are happening in the country, but they are not getting justice due to shortcomings of the law. He said the HC may hear the petition in a few weeks.
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