Rethinking The Anti Rape Law

Posted on August 13, 2013 in Society

By Sayendri Panchadhyayi:

The anti-rape law bill should accentuate upon the role of community. Of late, it has often been witnessed that the fading state of the active community networks turns the localities into a breeding ground for perpetuating criminal activities. The emergence of gated communities and individualism has stalled communication and socialization among the individuals in their community. We often don’t have any clue about our next door neighbours and there is a sense of detachment from our locality. In the preliminary level, the community, as a collective, should be responsible for the maintenance and supervision of its security. Law cannot create ties and bonds but a constitutional validity of community security is the need of the hour. A strong community has the power to keep at bay hooliganism from its ambit.

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Secondly, optimal use of technology at the public places and the public transport to keep a track on the perpetrators is needed. It is not always possible for the survivor to remember the facial details of the perpetrator or have a look at the number plate of the vehicles. CCTV cameras can be attached with the traffic light and lamp posts, CCTVs for the public transport and a monitoring device so that the traffic police can be updated about the movement of the vehicles. If these regulations are not met, the license of vehicles should be cancelled. Police constables in plain uniform should be posited at the problem zones (areas that are infamous for recording the highest rate of such crimes). Biker gangs indulging in hooliganism and violence against women should be prosecuted. Often, the lanes and bylanes are not included in the surveillance duty of the police, it needs to be taken care of.

Thirdly, the punishment for any form of sexual offence should be made non-bailable. Once proven guilty all forms of rape should invite equal punishment. There is a hierarchy between the most brutal rape and less brutal rape which needs to be put to rest now. Life imprisonment should be compulsory for the rapists and 10 years of jail for the sexual offenders. It should be mandatory for courts to to resolve the cases related to sexual offences at first in comparison to other forms of civil and criminal cases. They must solve the case within 2 months and should not stretch beyond 5 months even if the perpetrator is absconding.

Lastly, the anti-rape bill remains mum about sexual offences faced by women. The state policy of appeasing its security forces to get away when they commit crime should be immediately halted. Discrimination based on social position while deciding on the punishment of perpetrators should be penalized and brought within the constitutional jurisdiction.