Check offenders right from eve-teasing stage

Justice Mukul Mudgal (RETD)

The tragic demise of the Delhi rape victim should act as a reminder to society to alter its attitude to the dignity and persona of women. Rape victims should not be considered as the bearers of the cross of shame, but must be viewed with empathy, compassion and support. They must be treated with utmost care and efforts should be made to help them regain their confidence in society without the fear of being labelled.Let us utilise this needless loss of the life of the Delhi girl at the hands of savages to improve the entire justice delivery system.

Speedy trials, infrastructure

Enough courts and infrastructure should be provided for sexual offence cases all over India, and not only in Delhi. Prolonged trials frustrate and demoralise a victim due to repeated court appearances and reliving the horror. In-camera trials for such cases must be mandatory and such cases must be heard on a daily basis. Speedy trials will ensure some solace to the victim and her family. The high court must set a time limit of six to nine months for the conclusion of the trial of a sexual offence, which may be extended by not more than three months in exceptional cases for reasons to be recorded by the chief justice of the high court concerned or his nominee judge. The rapes in the interiors of the country must also receive adequate attention of law enforcers and media. Each state and district must appoint professionally capable public prosecutors so that rape trials are given priority and concluded expeditiously. The forensic evidence must be updated in line with the latest scientific developments with adequate number of laboratories all over the country. The families of the victim try to suppress rape incidents due to the social stigma attached to a victim. A social environment must be created that does not dub the victim as a loose character, but gives her support and emotional succour and treats her as a victim.

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