03 August, 2021

Rape & Punishment

Will death penalty deter rapists, or make conviction even tougher?

Rape & Punishment
  • The victim hasn't expressly stated there was penetration. She has only said the accused has taken her izzat. There's no offence therefore.
  • Broken bangles and uprooting of buttons of the blouse can't prove rape. If anything, they indicate the intensity of passion with which the two partners indulged in the sexual act.
    —Judicial observations while acquitting those convicted for rape by trial courts

    DOES it matter then that Union home minister L.K. Advani has recently promised death penalty for rapists? Does it matter that last week the chief ministers' meet had capital punishment for the crime high up on its agenda? What do these grandiose announcements mean in a country where a woman is raped every 53 minutes, where every seventh minute an act of criminal violence claims a woman victim?

    Very little, considering the conviction rate in rape cases stands at a paltry 4 per cent. "Add to that the judicial dicta 'the graver the punishments, lesser the conviction' and you realise these mega-pronouncements are really about...

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