'Rapists' sentence has restored our faith' - The New Indian Express

'Rapists' sentence has restored our faith'

Published: 14th September 2013 07:51 AM

Last Updated: 14th September 2013 07:51 AM

Two judgments in the last week indicting rapists have reaffirmed people’s faith in the judiciary. The expedited judgement delivered in the Delhi gang-rape case and the gang-rape of a law student in Bangalore has sent out a message of zero tolerance against crimes against women.

National Law School of India University (NLSIU) Vice-Chancellor R Venkata Rao said speedy judgments will reinstate people’s belief the judiciary’s competency.

“Both are landmark judgments and now people are more confident of availing justice. The pace at which justice has been meted out emphasises that crimes against women will be met with punishment. It is not the severity of the punishment but its certainty that is essential,” Rao said.

A 21-year-old student of NLSIU was raped by a gang of eight at Bangalore University’s Jnana Bharathi campus on October 13, 2012. The undergraduate student discontinued studies and returned to her native. Less than two months later, a 23-year-old pharmaceutical student was raped in a moving bus by five men. The latter incident was followed by outrage across the country but the victim succumbed to her injuries at an hospital in Singapore.

Though verdicts have been passed now, many feel a lot needs to be done to curb violence against women.

“There are so many cases that are pending before the court of law that is supposed to treat every human being equally,” said Badrinarayanan Seetharaman, former office-bearer of the NLSIU’s Students’ Bar Association (SBA).

“The deterring force of a death penalty has to be maintained and the fact that four men are going to die is not something we need to celebrate. There are many difficult cases before the courts that need follow-up. We can just hope that this creates fear in the minds of perpetrators,” he said.

Dr V S Elizabeth, professor at NLSIU, and chairperson of the Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee at the institute, said the judgments are likely to push up the rates of conviction. “Both are good judgments and the protests contributed to the change in the attitude of the judiciary. The common people will also know that by raising their voice, it is possible to be heard and make a difference,” she said.

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