Fast Verdict

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 May 2018 09:48:54


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most criminals today bask in the belief that even if they are caught, their case would go on endlessly and any outcome was unlikely. Swift judgement ensures immediate punishment to the culprit and the topicality of the issue is not lost.

The fear of the law comes when judgements are delivered fast and the culprits know that very soon they would be punished. Most criminals today bask in the belief that even if they are caught, their case would go on endlessly and any outcome was unlikely.


THE recent conviction of a rapist by an Indore court and awarding death sentence to him has made news headlines in most mainstream media platforms. The news also carried importance for the fact that the judgement was pronounced in just 18 working days from the time of the incident.


Prompt investigation and submission of chargesheet by the police and the alacrity of the court in pronouncing the verdict has received all round appreciation. This might set a precedent for other states and courts in handling such sensitive cases efficiently and in quick time. Such fast verdicts also work as a deterrent for the wrongdoers.


Early judgement is a rarity in India even as the courts are grappling helplessly to clear backlogs. Cases go on lingering for years and even decades as pendency keeps on rising. The grave shortage of judges and lawyers pose this problem, though experts have always believed that fast verdict was the key to lowering the cases of rape.


The fear of the law comes when judgements are delivered fast and the culprits know that very soon, they would be punished. Most criminals today bask in the belief that even if they are caught, their case would go on endlessly and any outcome was unlikely. Swift judgement ensures immediate punishment to the culprit and the topicality of the issue is not lost.


If a sensational event dies down and the story gets to the backburner, even a major judgement doesn’t arouse much interest or make news because the story is forgotten and the intensity is lost. Wrongdoers too forget the old incident and keep committing crimes. If the court is proactive, criminals will fear the law. Law and order are different things.


One is the function of the law, while other of the State. The Government has to maintain order and ensure the law is implemented properly. But that is one half of the work done. The other half has to be done by the judiciary. Even if a State’s police administration produces a culprit before the court and the court doesn’t take the action at the right time and in the right intensity, the effort of the police fails to impact the actual situation on the ground and doesn’t lead to a reduction in crime.


It is thus important for the court to expedite the process just as was done by the Indore court and uphold the rule of law in true letter and spirit. No police or State administration can do its best if the legal assistance is not prompt and its support full. Law and order is a collective responsibility and just as we easily blame the State and police for failing to maintain law and order in society, we must also praise them for taking up the issue so seriously and helping to bring the culprit to book.


The crime was as gory and heinous as it could be and falls under the rarest of rare, which is why it deserved capital punishment. The culprit was a distant relative of the victim baby and after violating her in a drunken state, he had even thrown her off from a height. The cruelty against humanity could not be manifested in a worse form than this. People of Indore and Madhya Pradesh were as angry at the crime as they were ecstatic at the timing and quantum of the punishment. Though the thrashing of the convict by lawyers and others on the court premises cannot be supported as no has the right to take law in his hands, the emotional outburst was but natural.


Rape itself is one of the most savage and unforgivable of crimes. Raping and then killing such a little girl only intensifies the seriousness of the crime and justifies the anger and the abomination it evokes. But the question remains, is capital punishment really the way or the recipe to stem rape cases?.


Hanging till death has been awarded earlier too in certain cases of rape but this has not stopped this sickening trend from gripping our society. The greater question is the direction towards which our society is drifting. The signs of degeneration and decadence are widely evident. A society where mothers, sisters, and daughters are not safe, can never dream of being a developed or civilized society. There is some deep vacuum in our spiritual or educational evolution that leaves us in such a mess. India is fast turning into a land of rapes and MP is a leading State holding the dubious distinction. It is not just about the social mindset which is still largely patriarchal and feudal and where the position of the woman in the house is always the second rung.


There is also large scale sexual, psychological and financial deprivation that is leading to desperation and savagery in a large underdog section of the population. The rich-poor divide is rapidly growing which is leading to a pent-up subdued grudge against ‘power’ and what is rape after all if not a false feeling of power and domination? There is some grave social dichotomy and rootlessness that is leading to such pervert mindsets hog the discourse.


Our education system needs a revisit and rejig to provide balance to the mind and make the male child more accommodating and accepting. They must be taught that power is not in giving free rein to overbearing passions or emotions but power is in restraint and sobriety.
Parents need to play a vital role in raising the stature of women in the home and teach their kids the tenets of equality. If children see their fathers giving the right kind of respect to the women at home and outside, they also will grow up into gentlemen who would value the importance of women in their lives.


By the way, if the base and plinth of morality and decency are weak, a child is bound to grow up into a savage. A character is formed in childhood and fathers must take due care that their own approach towards women should be such that their children can imbibe and spread. Till the time this basic education of life and this basic cultural background remains amiss in society, we are bound to stare at a bleak future. We need to do some serious thinking and locate the ways to instill these basic values in men.