Jagran Post

Is govt serious to amend laws on rape?

New Delhi: The death of 23-year-old Delhi braveheart who fought courageously against all odds has left the entire nation mourning. Her death has united people across the country and given them a cause to fight for. People across the nation are holding peaceful protest and demanding justice not only for her but also for thousands of rape victims whose sufferings have gone unheard.  

Unlike previous protests against such heinous crimes which only last for few days, this time the brutality of the incident has galvanized massive support, especially that of the younger generation. As a result of which the government is under immense pressure to amend the laws related to rape crimes.

The one common thing which the protestors are demanding is death penalty for the rape accused which according to them would act as a deterrent. This demand to certain extent seems to be justified as the government has very often failed to deliver justice to the rape victims.

The family and kin of rape victims find the present system very tedious and unfriendly due to which they are hesitant in reporting such issues to the police and seek justice. Moreover, if somehow the family gathers courage and fights a battle, the accused in most of the cases manage to escape with very little punishment.  

This massive protest has acted like a wake-up call for the government which has finally proposed a tougher law to check crimes against women which could include a provision like chemical castration of perpetrators of rape in rare cases.

The opposition parties too have suggested maximum punishment to the accused in rape cases, either death penalty or chemical castration.

Though the proposals are significant but it would be interesting to see that how long it will take the government to implement it. The government should try to put into practice the proposed amendments at the earliest in order to bring speedy and fare justice to thousands of rape victims.

Some shocking facts

According to a statistics compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau the number of rapes in India shot up by a staggering 873 per cent from1953 to 2001. This was three times faster than all cognizable crimes put together and three-and-a-half times faster than murder.

More shockingly, the report suggests that in three of the four cases of rape, the culprits went unpunished between 2002 and 2011 in Delhi. This low conviction rate in rape cases is not just confined to the national capital but it is equally abysmal all over India.

Of the 5,337 rape cases in the last decade, in 3,860 the culprits were either acquitted or discharged by courts for lack of "proper" evidence.

The conviction rate for the country on an average has been a meager 26 percent between 2001 and 2010.

Adding woes to the worries, the number of cases pending in Indian courts is rising by each passing day. Over 3.5 crore cases are pending in courts across the country, with 56,000 lakh and 42.92 lakh cases pending in the Supreme Court and the High Court respectively.

Ways to stop crime against women

  • Early passage of the Bill for the Prevention of Sexual Assault in the Workplace
  • Fast track courts to ensure speedy justice in rape and cases of sexual harassment and domestic violence
  • A time-bound action plan by states to deal with pending cases of crimes against women

(Agencies)

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