NEW DELHI: Delhi-based lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava’s PIL played a crucial role behind the Cabinet’s decision who on Saturday approve the ordinance on the death penalty for those convicted of raping children below the age of 12.
— आज तक (@aajtak) April 20, 2018
33-year-old Srivastava, a gold medallist in PG diploma in labour laws from the Indian Law Institute, Delhi had filed the PIL in his personal capacity seeking justice for 8-month-old infant that has been raped, allegedly by her 28-year-old cousin, in the Indian capital Delhi.
“I read about the case in newspapers and went to see her. It was a heart-wrenching experience. Her parents are daily wagers and could not afford her treatment. I decided then that I will move the Supreme Court seeking justice for her. The only punishment for a crime of such depravity can be death,” Srivastava told to Hindustan Times.
A chance encounter with former Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia made Srivastava quit a well-paying job as a law officer in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and join litigation.
“Justice Kapadia had come to the Indian Law Institute convocation in 2012. I was the topper that year. While giving me the gold medal and certificate, he told me that young people like me should fight for the marginalised sections of the society,” Srivastava said speaking to Hindustan Times.
In 2014, he started his own practice.
Srivastava filed his first PIL in July 2017, seeking permission to abort a 10-year-old girl’s 8-month (30-week) pregnancy who was raped by her maternal uncle in Chandigarh. Going by the advanced stage of pregnancy, the Chandigarh district court ruled an abortion.
A father of two young daughters, Srivastava said, “As a father, I feel for the parents of these children. I won’t be able to forgive myself, if I look the other way,” he said.