Next time a guy stares at you for 14 seconds or more, you can file a police complaint against him. Strange as the specific time-period mentioned sounds, according to what Kerala Excise Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh told a group of students at an Independence Day speech in Kochi, anyone who stares at a woman for 14 seconds can be charged under the Indian Penal Code.
"A case can be charged against a man who annoyingly stares continually at a woman for 14 seconds. But not a single such case has been registered so far in Kerala," Singh was quoted as saying.
Try scouring the net for information on the specific time period mentioned by the officer and it does not get you far, as the 14-second rule does not find a mention anywhere, except in Rishi Raj Singh’s speech. This was immediately pointed out by Kerala Sports Minister E P Jayarajan, who claimed the Excise Commissioner was trying to quote a law that does not exist.
Rishi Raj Singh had also, in the speech, stated that crimes against women in Kerala were on the rise, to which Jayarajan said the IPS officer questioned why he was commenting on crime rates when it had nothing to do with his department.
Rishi Raj Singh, known as a tough cop who spares no one — colleagues or the law-breaking public, is a hero of sorts of the masses in Kerala for being a stickler for rules. He has never set much store by politicians, a likely reason why Jayarajan has taken offence to his comments and threatened to complain to the excise minister.
In the past, Rishi Raj Singh, who has also served as Transport Commissioner and Chief Vigilance Officer in the Kerala State Electricity Board, refused to salute former Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala at a public event, and was asked for an explanation.
Both the minister and the IPS officer, however, denied it. Recently, Singh allegedly refused to attend an event organised by the Excise department, saying the officers who came to invite him were not in uniform despite being on duty.