ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Need for Reform

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This is in response to the editorial “Demanding the Wrong Kind of Justice” (EPW, 7 December 2019). It has rightly identified and diagnosed the social stigma associated in responding to rape and other sexual violence-related crimes. The collective failure of the society is one of the important factors behind this cultural degradation. A crucial aspect that needs immediate attention is the way the public outrage, whether in the Nirbhaya, Unnao or Disha cases is ­inclining ­towards vigilante justice than seeking justice through the rule of law.

The inordinate delay in prosecuting rape cases with less than 30% of conviction rate, insensitivity of the police investigative agency, high number of pending cases in subdistrict and district courts, vacancies in lower and higher judiciary, are some of the areas that require urgent intervention and measures. The recommendation of the Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System (2003: 292), as per which “A suitable provision should be made requiring the officer investigating to complete investigation of cases of rape and other sexual offences on priority basis and requiring the court to dispose of such cases expeditiously within a period of four months” has to be taken into cognisance for its effective implementation with immediate effect.

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Updated On : 13th Dec, 2019

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