Nagpur: It can be just an ordinary case of bet and forget, thanks to the laws! The memories of brutal and horrifying rape of Jyoti Singh (Nirbhaya, as the name given to her) still agonizes the minds and shatters every human soul deep within, but the culprits get off as easy as it can be, especially the juvenile ones. Reacting to the news that the most brutal rapist juvenile in the Nirbhaya case is slated to be released in another 40 days evokes mixed reactions from the citizens of Nagpur city.
Nagpur Today spoke to some of the students, law professionals and some prominent citizens of the city.
While speaking to Nagpur Today, President of Nagpur Bar Association Advocate Prakash Jaiswal said that while the laws have undergone a sea of change and have assumed harsher proportions, in this case, the existing laws which were prevalent at the time of commission of crime only will come into effect. He opined that retrospective effect of introduced law cannot be done because the accused was tried and sentenced according to the existing prevailing laws at the time when the crime was committed. He termed this as a natural justice and appropriate punishment in effect then was awarded to him and after the completion of the punishment, he is being set free. However Advocate Jaiswal told Nagpur Today that according to the present laws, accused booked under Section 23 of Juvenile Justice Act for cruelty to the child, Section 21 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) will not even be liable for bail. He said that the laws have become harsher than the old laws.
High Court Advocate Ranjit Sarde said that the natural justice has taken its course and that is the end of the case. One cannot employ new amendments in the law to the old cases. The laws prevailing at the time of accused committing the offense only will come into force.
Another High Court Advocate Singhania told Nagpur Today opined that though new laws have come into force, yet there are a lot of aspects which needs to be considered especially about laws on Juvenile Delinquents. He opined that the definition of Juvenile Delinquents have to be considered keeping in terms to the present rate of awareness, and maturity that the juveniles have as compared to the past. Law claims that they are not knowledgeable and do not know the difference between the right and the wrong so any act committed by them should be considered with that view. However, knowing this lacuna many old criminals and unscrupulous elements are said to be allegedly using the minors for various crimes. To add to that with technological advancement, the minor children are much more knowledgeable and know a whole lot of things which many youth do not know.
Managing Director of Madhuban Village (Farm House Schemes) Komal Lakhani opined that our existing laws should be such where such offenders especially rape should never be left off with minor or lesser punishments. While acquiescing to the fact that newer amendments can’t be put into effect with retrospective effect and old cases being tried under amended laws, she opined that why can’t the victims re-file the case against such so called Minors or Juvenile Offenders and they be tried under new laws? She expressed her anguish and anger that one of the most brutal rapists is going to be released soon.
Monil Ankit Sethiya a former lecturer opined that such offenders getting away with minor punishments speaks bad about the execution of punishments especially cases like rape where a victim had to undergo a physical and mental trauma during the act and which remains with her throughout her life. Our laws should be such that instant justice is done where retributive punishments are awarded.
Managing Director of All Smiles Events Management Group Nishita Gupta said that I don’t feel that such offenders should ever be released. She went on to add that irrespective of the age, offenders of such crimes especially rape where one human violates the dignity of another person should never be set free. The crime that these offenders commit does not curtail with the physical part of the body but has deep indelible trauma etched on the psyche and mind of the victim.
Arpita Chaturvedi a Law Student opined that it has been a practice that many criminals get away with minor punishments only because their Counsel or Advocate was well read and used the lacuna in the law to escape with minimum or no punishments. She added that such criminals should never be let out.
Disha Gandhi a student pursuing Chartered Accountancy opined that laws such as those existing in Arab countries where public executions are held so that it acts as a deterrent instilling a fear so that others committing the same crime will invite the same punishment. However, since such laws do not and cannot be made in a country with such a big population, more stringent laws should be made so that such offenders do not get away so easily.
Another Student of Interior Designing Meghali Lunavat said that it is a shame that one of the brutal rapists is getting away only because he was a minor at the time of committing the offence. The law has bound the hands of the victim’s family and friends or people would have ripped the offenders with their bare hands.
It is strange that no one has filed any petition against the release of an accused, who though Juvenile was involved in the rape case and his brutal mentality was exhibiting in the evidence collected in the case. How can an accused of growing crimes today get benefit by virtue of his being Juvenile despite the fact that the brutal nature of offence committed by him attracts no mercy at all.
Compiled by Samuel Gunasekharan