Following the barbaric rape cases that have surfaced in recent times, a prodigious public outcry is witnessed across the nation where people are demanding justice for the victims of such heinous crimes.
The most recent of all is the Asifa Bano rape case. An 8-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir was kidnapped, held captive in a temple, raped repeatedly and murdered. This case has triggered a huge public outrage; like the one witnessed in the infernal Nirbhaya case in December 2012 where a girl was fatally gang-raped in a moving bus.
Many such cases have surfaced from time to time that shocks us to our very core. Moreover, such cases compel us to question the efficiency of our current judicial system in curbing such offences and bringing justice to the victims of such heinous crime.
The question that is spreading like wildfire across the nation right now is whether capital punishment (death penalty) is fitting for child rapists or not.
Rape, in general, is considered as one of the most barbaric and inexcusable of offences. The sheer mental, physical and emotional trauma that one goes through cannot even be put in words.
And to inflict all that mentally, physically and emotionally slaughtering trauma on a child is gruesome and appalling. We can’t even begin to imagine the effect it has on an adult, let alone a child.
Due to the recent spine-chilling cases looming over our heads, there is an apparent need to make some amendments in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
In the present scenario, there is a 3-year imprisonment for sexually harassing a child, 5-year imprisonment for sexual assault and 10-years imprisonment for aggravated sexual assault.
Now, there are talks of adoption of capital punishment for people convicted of raping a child below the age of 12.
“I have been deeply, deeply disturbed by the rape case in Kathua and all the recent rape cases that have happened on children. I and the (women and child development) ministry intend to bring an amendment to the POCSO Act asking for death penalty for rape of children below 12 years,” Maneka Gandhi was heard saying in a video, which was uploaded on Twitter.
Many might be against capital punishment thinking that although the anger is justified, the law should not be amended based on a mere public outrage. Moreover, some say that a death penalty will not a serve a deterrent in such cases. That the people willing to commit such crimes will not be afraid to do it just because of the fear of being hanged.
However, in my opinion, the adoption of capital punishment or a death penalty for people convicted of raping a child, is judicious.
Not only will it serve to bring justice to the victim and her family, but will also act as a deterrent, at least on some level. It may even instil the victims and the family members to come out and report the case, as a majority of rape cases go unreported due to the social stigmas attached to it. Moreover, a chemical castration can also serve as a deterrent and inhibit people from getting involved in such crimes.
Be it life imprisonment, chemical castration or capital punishment, such heinous crimes shall not be neglected. The culprits must be penalized duly. Justice should be served in a befitting manner and not in some form of a monetary compensation given to the victim’s family.
Feel free to comment down your thoughts below and contribute in this debate by being an active part of it.
Are you pro-death penalty for child rapists and child sex offenders? Do you think that adopting capital punishment for the crime will act as a deterrent? Do you think it will engrave a fear of death in the minds of future culprits?
Or are you of the opinion that death penalty should be abolished?
If you wish to read another article from a different perspective/point of view before making your own reformed decision, check out the article published in “The Hindu” recently.
Link to the article – Here
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