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Delhi gangrape: We need sensitive prosecutors, not fast-track courts

by FP Staff  Dec 20, 2012 09:09 IST

#Delhi   #Rape   #Sexual violence   #WhyNow  

The gangrape of the 23 year old medical student has sparked off a nationwide outrage against the heinous crime that the capital has been witness to. From parliamentarians to street protestors several people have been campaigning for the death penalty of the accused.

Vrinda Grover, human rights lawyer said that the solutions being offered by the parliamentarians like the death penalty and fast track courts would not work. Speaking to CNN-IBN, she said, "Fast track courts have been tried in riot cases but they have completely failed. We need a public prosecutor who will be gender sensitive and then the case can be solved fast."

Will sentencing the perpetrators to death sentence solve the brutal problem of rape and sexual assault in India? AFP

The death penalty is also not the right way to go, according to her. She said, "Before the death penalty get the convictions right. Parliamentarians should shout for these things instead of saying things like 'zinda lash' (living corpse) and asking for death penalty."

The comment 'zinda lash' was made by Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj while referring to the trauma that the girl has been going through and to press for stronger legal action against the perpetrators.

This labelling of women with terms like 'zinda lash' is also not a step in the right direction. Journalist Sameera Khan said, "By subscribing to such kind of labelling we are locating the shame on the woman's body. Locate the shame on the perpetrators."

Ex-Chief Secretary Shailaja Chandra suggested a number of solutions to bring to book the perpetrators such heinous crimes.

She said, "Rape should be looked at like a public health problem. The onus should lie with a medical department like the Centre for Communicable Diseases. A federal law should be in place where the rape cases will be overseen not just by the police but also several other authorities."

According to her, a statutory authority should be set up to look at the prevention of rape. She said, "This body will also look into the legal case and rehabilitation of the victim. It should use the police as an arm. A rape case should not be the direct responsibility of the police alone."

The verdict is clear - tougher laws and their implementation coupled with gender sensitive rehabilitation should be the way to go. The burden of the judicial proceeding should not rest just with the victims and their families, it should lie with the state, all of them agreed.