The recent gang rape of a woman and her daughter next to the national highway, the rape and burning of the lower half body of a girl, and a bunch of such incidents have raised grave concerns about the mental health of the contemporary society. This unfortunately has become a daily routine affair. Have we become so insensible to such grave news? Just, switch on the TV, watch for the news and you will see one or the other case of rape and sexual assault of women and innocent girls flashing across the news channels. These are the cases that get reported. However, it is astonishing that on equally daily basis we do not hear the judgement on such cases getting pronounced. The crime against women is not a recent issue. There are thousands of cases registered and the count is ticking on daily basis. So, even if we assume one year as the time taken by the courts to deliver their judgement, why are the judgements not following the same pattern with a backlog of one year? Logically and arithmetically, we should everyday hear these demons getting either life imprisonment or capital punishment. Have we ever pondered, why?
Ours is a country where time is the biggest saviour. All the atrocities here are self healed. None of the pillars of democracy will come to your rescue. Though it is well known fact that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’, it always comes late. By the time, the verdict in a case is pronounced; victims either commit suicide or die their natural death. This open-ended time independent system requires a complete overhaul. It has been embedded inside the minds of each individual from a labourer to the person at the highest seat of the power, that judicial process is a time taking process. Why? If a doctor is asked to sit on the chair of a judge then it is understandable. If an engineer is asked to perform a surgery, it is understandable. What if a doctor says that he requires six months to perform an open heart surgery? Comparisons may appear absurd, but a job is a job!
On the humble note, it is understandable that the judicial process is time taking process. By embracing the obsolete statement, ‘an innocent should not be punished’ and taking utmost care not to violate it, we are doing grave injustice to the victims. Were they not innocent when got raped? Then, why these double standards? We need to get things accelerated? With the advent of new technologies and their usage in the judicial process, situation today is very much in control. There are very less chances that an innocent is caught, interrogated, grilled and punished. Further, when there are time limits prescribed for every assignment, be it the infrastructure projects, the recruitment process, production targets or any work related to any of the departments, why is the judiciary non-aligned to this? The crimes against the country, the women and the kids need to be given utmost priority for disposal. They cannot keep crawling for months and years together. To be bit blunt, these cases should have a time limit of fifteen days for lower courts, one month for high court and three months for supreme courts for disposal. One may laugh at this especially a policeman or a lawyer, but a deep introspection and self appraisal and keeping self in the place of the victim may let one understand the pain and the urgency.
Just as a part of a suggestion, essentially, three things should be taken up on priority. First, there need to be separate division of penal code assigned towards such crime. A new procedure called code of fatal procedure (FPC) need to be framed. The laws and the methodology to be followed in this procedure shall be entirely different from the regular ones. More like those TADA laws and the special courts. It can therefore be termed as JSPA (Judiciary Special Power Act) which may well define the type of provisions it should contain. The crime against women, kids and sedition shall be part of it. The disrespect to national symbols including the father of the nation, the infiltration, the riots etc. should be included under this with the varying amount of punishment against the gravity of the offence. Secondly, there need to be a cases monitoring cell in the courts that should ensure the timely closure. This cell should contain the content online with the ministry keeping a tab on it. Thirdly and most importantly the FPC should be a super fast track procedure. After all, we are aiming for bullet train. The cases should be brought to their logical end within a week’s time. Looks absurd? No! That is the need of the hour and the key to become and remain a peaceful nation.
Let us set off the revolution of bringing the people responsible for the atrocities against women and young girls to their judicial end. Let us not be mere spectators or sympathisers. Let us heal the wounds of our mothers, daughters and sisters instead of allowing them to wait for the time to come to their rescue. Let the justice prevail and create its much needed scare. Time has ripened for the Goddess of justice to remove the black band from her eyes. Time has come that we redefine her representation.