oppn parties Delivery of Justice in Rape Cases

News Snippets

  • The government will make new IT rules to make it mandatory for platforms to provide traceability of content
  • PM Modi says India striving to move to evidence-based policy making by 2022
  • Patna High Court says that courts are clogged with cases against prohibition in the state
  • NCP-Congress say unanimity reached on government formation in Maharashtra, talks with Sena today
  • Surrogacy Bill referred to 23-member select committee by the Rajya Sabha
  • Government has asked the IITs to follow the quota system in hiring faculty
  • Gujarat police say self-styled godman Nithyanand has fled the country
  • Muslim parties are split over seeking review of the Ayodhya verdict
  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli says the pink ball could pose a lot of challenges due to its weight, hardness and colour
  • India to play its first pink-ball Test match against Bangladesh from Friday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata
  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
Perfect start for India in the first pink-ball Test. Bangladesh skittled out for 106 runs while India make 174 for 3 in reply. Ishant Sharma took a fiver
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Delivery of Justice in Rape Cases

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
After the Nirbhaya rape incident, rape laws in India were made more stringent. But no law can ever hope to overcome misuse of position or status, fear or greed. There has been a rush (I hate to use this word, but cannot avoid it) of rape cases recently with Unnao, Kathua and Surat all troubling the minds of all right-thinking citizens. But in between, there was another report that has troubled me immensely and has got me thinking.

A girl in Delhi has filed a case against her parents for accepting Rs 20lakhs from the accused who raped her and forcing her to change her statement in order to let him off the hook. After bowing to that girl for her huge courage, I think that this is one of the reasons why convictions for rape are so low in India. In 2016, only 25% of rape cases filed resulted in conviction. This girl has had the courage to protest. Others are not so strong. Many cases are ‘settled’ by the families of the victim and the accused in this dastardly manner.

Very often, as it will happen in both Unnao and Kathua, misuse of position and fear play a huge role. On one side are powerful people who have committed ghastly crimes – in Unnao, from the ruling party and in Kathua, protected by the ruling party – and on the other side are powerless people who can only hope for support from activists, lawyers and the judiciary. The accused will misuse their status to destroy the case against them. Also, fear of reprisal will prevent witnesses from coming forward and may even make the families of the victim to withdraw the cases.

There was even a judge in the Madras High Court, Justice P Devadass, who encouraged ‘settlement’ of rape cases if the accused agreed to marry the victim. Calling it alternative dispute resolution, the judge granted bail to a rape accused and asked him and the victim’s family to ‘mediate’ so that the victim could marry the girl whom he raped.

It is sad that educated people can call rape a ‘dispute’ and say that there can be alternative ways of resolving it. A dispute is defined as a “disagreement or argument”. Is rape a dispute or disagreement or argument? It is forced violation of a person that infringes on her/his individual liberty and deserves punishment according to law. The person asked by the Madras High Court to ‘seek’ marriage had been sentenced to 7 years in prison by the trial court. The victim obviously refused to even consider marrying him. And what if the person married the victim to escape punishment and then abandoned her after some time?

Instead of prescribing fancy ways, the legislature, the investigating agencies and the judiciary must work to eliminate misuse of status, greed, fear and other such factors that come into play in reducing the rate to conviction for rapists. Justice for victims must be swift and as per law. If needed, more procedural delays must be eliminated and better ways of collecting, submitting and admitting evidence must be introduced for rape cases to make the delivery of justice fast and just.