The debate on capital punishment has been
running over the past so many decades, but yet nothing concrete is coming up. Many may be satisfied with the present legislation on giving
of capital punishment but to many of us its still not serving the
purpose that it is deemed to serve. Is it actually working as a deterrent to crime? Which as far as our understanding goes is increasing day by day. History is evidence to the fact that capital punishment has
never acted and would never act as deterrence to crime.
Would it be right to say that its more like
another divide between the rich and the poor? Till date the capital punishments have only acted as deterrence for those families who could
hardly earn bread and butter forget about hiring a smart lawyer who
could effectively play with the facts of the case to serve his clients. Only few months back a man named
Dhannajay was given capital punishment
for raping and then killing a minor girl. His act as such was brutal calling for severe action against him, but it seems that the ends of
justice have not actually been met out. So many cases of murder go not unnoticed but without any punishment to the doer only because he has
money to meet out whatever expenditure might come in defending his case.
Be it by influencing or so to say compensating the families of those killed or hiring an efficient lawyer to prove the case in their favor.
Talk about so many politicians engrossed form top to bottom in so may
corrupt t activities known to every one still go out of the Court smiling.
The rarest of the rare principal embodied by the S.C. of India in the case of
Bachan Singh vs. State of Punjab in
giving of capital punishment seems to have been applied only when the defendant is a unprivileged person coming from that strata of the
society where people do anything to earn bread and illiteracy has only caused misery. Not than the Court wants to do injustice to these persons
but the fact that they are not capable of fighting their case because they cannot hire a lawyer who has master minded the provisions of
Article 21 of the Constitution of India to save his client. Nor has he the money to change the evidences against him as has happened recently
in so many cases before us where we knew the culprit, where even the
Judge is himself so shure of the culprit but yet the culprit goes off scot-free because of lack of evidences against him.
In order to do justice to one person we
cannot do injustice to so many others. Why should the innocent family of
the rapist suffer for an act for which he the culprit is the only one responsible? Moreover would capital punishment really bring justice?
Thanks to the idea of capital punishment that an easier way to do away with the crime has been found by the doers of the heinous crime. To kill
the victim throw her somewhere and move away and if lucky enough then the crime would never be traced back to the offender. The cardinal
question to be asked here is are the circumstances of the crime as such
that there is no alternative but to impose death sentence?
Hindu dharma talks of nark for evil doers,
Muslim talks of jhanum and Christianity talks of hell for evildoers but at the same time without any exception every religion talks of reforms.
Giving a chance to the culprit to compensate the victim would go a long way in reforming the person. Moreover Social protestation towards such
things would also help in the long run.
The unfortunate part is that even the law is
very restricted and limited in its definition about rape. Section 375 of the
IPC.,1860, specifies that sexual intercourse comprises rape wherein penetration alone suffice to constitute that sexual intercourse which
amounts to offence of rape. Least heed has been paid to the fact that rape is much wider a term and as such should be given a much wider
interpretation. Though giving it a wider interpretation may call for some difficulty but a solution should be devised if we want to
completely do away with this phenomenon of outraging a females modesty.
The definition does makes it easy for the
plaintiff to prove her case. In the given society a gargantuan amount of social stigma is attached with the concept. Even if rape is not done in the strict sense of
Section 375 of IPC, the prima facie impression of
rape having been committed does an equal harm to the victim. Not always may it be possible to prove the case beyond doubt that a rape has been
committed if we go according to the strict interpretation of Section 375 of
An empirical study manifest that people who
have been meted out with capital punishment in India were poor or in minority or both. Nonetheless we do not intend to take sides all that we
are trying to say that if justice is to be delivered it should undoubtedly be fair and reasonable. Justice should mean justice.
An overall rethinking about it as a societal
as well as legal issue is required. Also if torture is deemed best for the rapist then, why not this torture be constructive? For instance, the convicted can be made to compensate the victim or her family by his
income through employment or community services. The act of rape is the most heinous crimes against the humans so the punishment should also be
very painful. So that others fear the crime.
Even if all this sound a bit
dissatisfactory to the victim of rape or her family then it is submitted that capital punishment is quite a merciful punishment for a crime as
heinous as rape.
Why should the rapist be killed with a
pain of just two seconds contrary to the victim who in a society like ours would still live with so much shame and
un-acceptance? If the girl has to continue with this stigma throughout out her life let the rapist
also live with the stigma of rapist. He should be made to suffer
equally, if not to avenge then at least to strike a balance.