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

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Legal Representation and Rape Trials

The right of all accused to have representation in courts is seriously under threat in India not just from the government, but from lawyers and on occasion from civil society itself, especially in rape cases. This leads to serious injustice and sometimes results in deprivation of life and liberty without the due process of law. However, even for the conscientious lawyer, a sexual assault case poses ethical and mental health challenges that have to be navigated with little institutional support.

The recent murder of five-year-old Pradyuman Thakur, on the premises of Ryan International School, Gurugram—apart from exposing the absence of safety in India’s expensive private schools—has also, once again, exposed the shoddiness of the criminal justice system. The Haryana police framed Ashok Kumar, a bus driver, for the offence and even purported to get a “confession” from him (Basu 2017).

It was only the sustained pressure from the victim’s family that saw the case being transferred from the Haryana police to the Central Bureau of Investigation, who then nailed an older student of Ryan International School as an accused in the case (Business Line 2017).

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Updated On : 27th Dec, 2017

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