After the brutal rape and murder of eight-year-old Kathua victim, people were outraged over the justice system and were suggesting that the criminals should be given harsh punishments. The elections, that is not too far put the government under pressure; resulting it in making a new law to award the rapists death penalty for raping a child below 12 years of age.
The noted journalist with The Wire, Arifa Khanum Sherwani, speaks on how awarding a death penalty to rapists can lead to more complicated situations. She says that Delhi High Court had asked whether a scientific assessment was done before taking this decision of making a new law and passing the ordinance. The HC had also asked whether there is any data available that shows awarding death to rapists will stop rapes.
She says that if the penalty of a rape is same as that of a murder, then why will the offender will spare victim’s life. According to the data, most of the times, the offender is not a stranger to the victim and our social system doesn’t care about victim’s life or her respect.
Did people in protest properly channelise their energy in getting the law stronger? she asks.
Arifa further says that the law we already have is strong enough, but needs to be implemented. However, the government does not pay heed in its implementation. The easiest way of bringing up a new law was considered in Kathua case.