Should we be on our guard, always?

Should we be on our guard, always?

Presently, the prosecution the courts and the police operate in silos, when they need to converge, debate and explore every case together.

In our nation, despite laws which are reformative in nature, we only talk of capital punishment in the rarest of rare cases. But when we see women and children being raped, tortured and murdered, I think it’s time we believed capital punishment in these cases.

However, they have failed in their duties and did not care for the law.

A thing is . They could have shot in the air, or in the leg and not murdered the accused. We’ve got the rule of law, which makes provision for capital punishment, for a reason. It create fear and may act as deterrent. However, the Hyderabad police’s action will just serve to decrease fear of the law in society.

Currently, we do not have institution, system or the mechanism for any kind of long term reform in India. In actuality, although confinement is allowed by the law, none of our jails extend this kind of punishment to even those who have committed heinous crimes. I think it is essential that capital punishment is considered for murder and rape as it will send a message and act as a deterrent. Knowing that punishment will be swift and certain, people will fear the law more and perhaps keep away from performing such offense. Research has shown that recidivism (the trend for the perpetrator to keep committing a crime over and over again) is very high in people who murder and rape and that is why capital punishment ought to be introduced for these offenses.

Presently, the prosecution, the courts and the police operate in silos, when they have to converge, debate and explore every case. They could say they can’t spare the time and the courts believe they need to be reformatory, giving the perpetrator of a crime the opportunity to reform.

But the question is who is to do the reforming? There’s no convergence between them while you have the departments of social welfare and prisons. There is also a women and child welfare department, but where is the convergence? Everybody does what they believe needs to be done and follows whatever policy is in place.

But when we are talking of raising the anxiety of law and deterrence, the courts have the primary responsibility together with the prosecution and the police to see that these are put in place. And it has to happen. This means that the politicians will need to work on this.

I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that a woman needs to be told to keep herself safe. I feel the state should be responsible for the protection of its citizens, especially women. So, light up the streets, make public transport more available, and introduce mechanisms and systems which can react quickly and inexpensively when crimes of this nature happen. You claim to have CCTV cameras. But if they’re not there, please put in them and enhance your monitoring and response time. As for the judiciary, it has to ensure speedy punishment. Because when somebody knows he is going to be punished, he will not commit the crime. But when he knows he can get bond and be let- off, he will continue to commit the crime with impunity.

It is a pity that we need to push parents and educational institutions to teach our kids, girls and boys, to respect each other. We have to impart sex education and track and guide children about the dangers of the web. And we must be open to talking, and discussing everything with kids so that they won’t go around experimenting and damaging others.

The government also should have a national, district and state registry of those people against whom there have been complaints of sexual abuse, assault, and rape. Even if the courts have convicted them, the data ought to be available so that businesses are careful to not employ these people and give them jobs involving interaction with children, and women that could enable them to commit these crimes again.

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