ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Wrong Solutions

The increase in sexual crimes needs deeper analysis, not knee-jerk reactions.

“Hang them;” “jail them for life;” “castrate them.” The recipe doled out to deal with the increasing incidence of rape in India continues to reach hysterical heights in total disregard of the reality on the ground. And so once again, after the horrific rapes of two girls, aged two and five, in Delhi, the chorus of stronger punishment was heard. Leading it was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who demanded that the Juvenile Justice Act 2014 be further amended so that even a 15-year-old charged with a heinous crime could be tried as an adult. From the Madras High Court came an additional voice, of Justice N Kirubakaran, who recommended castration as an additional punishment for those convicted of raping children.

Despite the detailed recommendations of the Justice J S Verma Committee report, following the December 2012 gang rape in Delhi, neither politicians nor even some in the judiciary appear to have understood the central problem around the increase in such crimes. Without this, all we get are ill-informed and pointless recommendations that make little to no difference to the situation on the ground. Worse still, they give social sanction to those who would like to use such recommendations to take the law into their own hands and “teach a lesson” to anyone they suspect of having committed such a crime.

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