In an exclusive interview to the Express, Supreme Court Judge Justice Gyan Sudha Misra has said that if a gangrape has led to the death of the victim, the act should attract death penalty to the perpetrators of the crime.
She said that both the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) should be amended to this effect. “Fast track courts will be meaningless if there is no fast track justice. At the moment, the evidence recorded by the police under section 161 of the CrPC is not admissible in evidence. Therefore, when the evidence is recorded, it should be done in the presence of a magistrate or a judicial officer. And this evidence should be final,” Justice Misra said. There should not be a second recording of the evidence. Right at the threshold, if evidence is recorded under the supervision of a judicial officer, there would not be any controversy, she said.
Both the accused and the victims should not be provided with lawyers until the evidence has been recorded, she added. Justifying her stance, Justice Misra drew an example saying a murder committed during dacoity by five or more persons attracts death penalty. On the same lines, amendment should be brought about to incorporate death for gangrape resulting in death of the victim.
(Section 395 of the IPC: Whoever commits dacoity shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.) (Section 396: If any one of five or more persons, who are conjointly committing dacoity, commits murder in so committing dacoity, every one of those persons shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life.)