Friday, February 01, 2008

So many things that are wrong

Rape accused opts for jail term

NAGPUR: : A rape convict has been sent to jail after he opted to serve a five-year rigorous imprisonment, refusing to marry the victim. A fast track court in neighbouring Wardha, taking social aspects into consideration, gave the accused an option to choose between five year RI or marry the victim. The accused, Rahul Khemraj Nimsadkar, refused to marry and opted for jail term. He was immediately picked up by Wardha police and sent to district jail. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him.
+/ 'opts...' ? Since when did Indian courts start giving choices to criminals ? This is not a kabile-ka-sardar pronouncing his diktat. It is a fully legitimate fast-track court constituted under Indian Law, to up hold IPC that gave the perpetrator a 'choice'. Is it even allowed?

+/ 'marry her or go to jail'? WTF, Seriously WTF? I can not help re-phrase the verdict like this: "You have violated her will once. Do you like to do it every night, night after night, year after year?" What was the judge smoking? Was he (coz I can not imagine a lady judge giving such a verdict) a Talib?

+/ 'taking social aspects into consideration'? If this is socially accepted then I am ashamed to part of such a society. I am horrified to learn that rape can be compensated by marriage - also people later think highly of the rapist who gives a life to the victim. What if a already married man rapes? When exactly did we lose the capacity to think clearly?

+/ 'idiot says "Thanks, but I prefer to be jailed"'. Duh. This gets me thinking. Just for a moment... Let me run my imagination wild. Was he wrongly accused/convicted? Did he chose jail because the other option would amount to admittance of guilt? On the other hand - what kind of a lawyer did he hire (who gave him this advice)? Was he bluffing the judge to show he was innocent? But all that is beside the point - He chose not to take the parachute.

+/ 'marrying'? Does it come with a clause as to how long should the marriage last? Does it automatically strip the husband of any right to divorce? If so, doesn't that amount to letting one person live entirely at the mercy of another? Law can not define any of these... So, why give such a judgment?

+/ '5 years RI'? Thats it? 5 years for a rape is too less. Good behavior and pulling the right strings, and he can be out by the 3rd Independence Day. By then - if she is lucky and gets proper help - she would be just getting over the mental effects of the trauma. In fact, she has got the tougher sentence - 'to live in a society that treats rape victims with contempt, scorn and suspicion for the entire life'. On the other hand, was the judge not convinced about the crime? In which case, should he not have let him off? (because of the 'beyond reasonable doubt' thing) Whichever way you look at, this judgment is a half baked one.

+/ '10000/- fine'. Is that the judge's way of telling 'Thank you for your services, Maam. Here's ten grand for all the trouble you have been through. Now we can call it even.' Money can never repair damage to self-respect. Even the most primitive societies (those with war-lords) do not approve of it. In addition to philosophical blunder, the judgment undermines the character of a victim. How does the honorable(?) judge expect a honorable lady to accept monetary compensation? (that too from the rapist). Even if it is meant to aid her to get immediate medical/psychiatric help, it should not come in the form of 'fine' that is slapped on the rapist. The state should make provisions for such help - free of cost.

+/ 'What does she think?'. Journalism should strive at giving readers the complete picture. The report conveniently omits all references to the victim. I stand by her rights of *not* revealing identity. But I would surely have liked to know (anonymously of course) whether she was consulted before the judge made such an offer to the accused. If yes, How on earth did she agree?


Srikanth said...

I had heard about Theories of punishment like : Retributive Theory, Reformative Theory, Restorative Thoery,Deterence Thoery, etc.

but, this seems to be a whole new concept of multiple-choice- optional-Theory of contemporary Justice.

God save the land!

Nadig's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nadig's said...

This is purely your point of view... you never know the girl's trauma and state of mind. Taking a look at the social conditions prevalent in India, I think the girl(and her relatives) would have consulted the judge regarding the choice also...
You can't just blame the judge since he would've thought it thoroughly before ajudging accordingly.

aishu_here said...

'WTF, Seriously WTF?'

Exactly !