Lawyers for Human Rights International has sent its suggestions to Hon’ble Retd. Justice J.S. Verma who is heading the three member committee constituted by Government of India to give recommendations on amending laws to provide speedier justice and enhanced punishment in sexual assualt cases. The committee was constituted after public protests erupted over Delhi gang rape case. The committee headed by former Chief Justice of India JS Verma sought comments from the public in general, particularly eminent jurists, legal professionals, NGOs, women’s groups and civil society members on reviewing the existing laws in a bid to provide quicker justice and stringent punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault, an official statement said.
LAWYERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL
# 516, SECTOR 11-B, CHANDIGARH, INDIA. WWW.LFHRI.ORG
Hon’ble Retd Justice JS verma,
It’s a matter of serious concern that in today’s India, the citizens had to take to the streets to raise a voice of concern of the safety of woman. It’s a shame that in a country like India, where every young woman was considered a sister and a matured woman a mother, we today have reached to a situation where the government has been forced to form your committee and the citizens have been asked to give suggestions in this regard.
At the very outset let me convey on behalf of our organisation that we are against enhancing of the punishment of Rape to that of death sentence, because we are principally against death sentence. Death sentence is not only too archaic, but has been proven to be non-deterrent and most ineffective punishment. It has also been seen that death sentence being irreversible can be at times most unjust punishment, where at a later time, the court have found that an innocent person has been executed for a crime that he never committed.
However we feel that the punishment of Rape could be enhanced and made more stringent, in order to ensure punishment to the culprit and also to ensure that the society is not put to risk by his early release.
Now that we are discussing woman relating laws, our organisation seriously feels that section 354 IPC does also need an amendment to make it non-bailable, with the minimum punishment enhanced to 3 years and extendable upto 10 years. Just imagine a situation, where a woman is made naked in public, which is worst type of incident of outraging the modesty of a lady and no lesser than Rape, but the accused is bailed out from the police station and even in case of a lengthy trial, he gets to the maximum only upto 2 years punishment. The state amendments made by the states of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh & Orissa enhancing the punishment need to made in the section itself centrally.
We also need to pass special laws of ensuring eve teasing and stalking a lady as non-bailable and punishable upto 3 years imprisonment.
Special judges should be appointed who should man the special courts of crimes relating to woman and the trials should be ensured to be conducted on day to day basis. It should be ensured that the special judges are not burdened with more than 100 case files, so that qualitative justice can be delivered in these cases.
We need to also study the reasons why our society is producing such criminals and where are we faltering socially, only then we can have a long lasting solutions to issues relating to making the woman more secure and safe in India.
NAVKIRAN SINGH ADVOCATE.