The Supreme Court has finally confirmed the death sentence in the Nirbhaya case. Ever since the apex court upheld the death sentence for the four accused in the December 2012 heinous gang-rape case that shamed the nation, Twitter and Facebook are abuzz with activity. One of the strongest reactions that have now gone viral came from a celebrity, writes on Facebook “Yes, it has taken five long years, but today justice finally prevailed. The flame of this verdict should singe not just the dastardly four but other such perpetrators in India as well”. Another celebrity who is quite vocal on Twitter wrote “Public Hanging” was needed to set an example for an everyday menace”.
A tweet by Taapsee Pannu, who acted in the movie Pink that examined how society labels women as ‘loose’, besides delivering the message of “A no means no” said that “At last, justice delayed is not always justice denied! Wish there was a more cruel way to make them feel the pain they evoked Ms Pannu said on the microblogging site. Wrestler Geeta Phogat tweeted “Justice finally served. Thank You, Indian Judiciary”. Barring perhaps firm opponents of the death penalty, citizens across the land will feel justice has been delivered, even if delayed. The Nirbhaya case did not just horrify India but also focused attention on the need for women’s safety. Sensing the public outrage, Parliament amended various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. A provision was made for handing out the death sentence to rapists convicted earlier for such a crime.
Stalking was made non-bailable offence if it is repeated for the second time. A law to slap a 10-year jail term was enacted for acid attack. No doubt the Supreme Court judgment will revive memories of that horror but it would also strengthen the national resolve to move away from the preying mindset. How the court felt could be understood from the judgment of the Supreme Court’s sole woman judge and a member of the Bench that confirmed the death penalty in the Nirbhaya case, Justice R.Banumathi who observed, “offences against women are not women’s issue alone but a human rights issue”. “Increased rate of crime against women is an area of concern for the lawmakers and it points out an emergent need to study in depth the root of the problem and remedy the same through a strict law and order regime”.
We at Tehelka echo what Justice R.Banumathi has observed in her Nirbhaya case judgment!