A top Kerala official’s comments that staring ‘annoyingly’ at a woman for 14 seconds can land a man in jail as per certain sections of law has gone viral on social media with a state minister terming them ‘irritating’. “There are sections in law to jail a man for annoyingly staring at a woman for 14 seconds. Please use it (the provisions in the law), if it is the case,” State Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh had said.
Singh made the comments at an event organised by a charitable trust in Kochi two days ago. Urging women to fight the hooligans disturbing them, Singh had also asked them to carry knives and chili spray in their bags to protect themselves from such elements. “Are you carrying a knife in your bag? Are you carrying chilly spray? Time is over for taking such precautions” he had said.
While Singh’s words drew varied reactions on social media, Kerala Sports Minister E P Jayarajan termed them as ‘irritating’. “The remarks are irritating. If a bureaucrat makes remarks which are not in law, certainly the minister concerned will examine it and necessary steps will be taken,” he told reporters.
Singh’s comments drew humorous reactions on social media, with jokes such as — how a man who went to see a woman at her home following a marriage proposal ended up in jail for staring at her for more than 14 seconds. Some also expressed doubts over the points made by Singh.
They asked, “What will happen if a man blinks while staring at her continuously for 14 seconds?… what about a man who stares at a woman wearing sunglasses?”. Rishiraj Singh had courted controversy in July last year for not saluting the then Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala at a passing out parade in Thrissur.