Swift justice always sounds like an oxymoron in a judicial system like ours which is comparable to a thengoo lamjel. Justice is always delayed for reasons best known to those who belong to the judicial fraternity. The trial for the infamous Phaknung gang rape incident of 14th April finally began on 28th April which was right after two weeks. But as predictable it will perhaps go on for another two-three weeks/months/years or even more.
Rape is a non-bailable offence. It is not just an act of forcing a weaker person for a sexual intercourse. Besides the physical pain, rape inflicts an irreparable wound to the victim’s mind which often results to trauma. The infamous Phaknung gang rape incident on 14th April opens up many unimagined questions about our youth who are supposed to be the pillars of our future society. Are our youths becoming copy-cats of the youths from the ‘Rapists’ Republic’? What’s so wrong about their upbringing? Is technology in the wrong hands? Is it a clear sign of the untimely loss of innocence of our youths?
Section 376D of the Indian Penal Code (after Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013) lays down that-
Where a woman is raped by one or more persons constituting a group or acting in furtherance of a common intention, each of those persons shall be deemed to have committed the offence of gang rape and shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and with fine.
Provided that such fine shall be just and reasonable to meet medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim.
Provided further that any fine imposed under this section shall be paid to the victim.
Well, 20 years is not enough to compensate the trauma that the victims have to undergo. 20 years cannot bring back their innocence. A compensatory amount will not help them erase the memory of that horrible incident. 20 years cannot help them fight with their nightmare.
But 20 years of imprisonment of the rapists sans any bail may perhaps set an example that such a crime will not be endured in our society. It may perhaps instill a faith on the judicial system that it will not let such criminals walk-free.
Yes! Everyone has a right to a free and fair trial. But in such matters, there should not be any room for shielding the criminals who were fully aware of the consequences of their atrocious acts. They cannot (rather must not) be protected on the mere ground that they are of young age. The desire to rape two helpless girls is not the desire of innocent kids who loiter at the leirak khulak in pursuit of innocent fun. Raping girls is not categorized under any of the games played by teenagers.
Rape case is not similar to a matter of a mere nupi laknaruba or chenlubagi case. It is also notable that the kids who committed the crime are not uneducated kids who are not aware about such a heinous act. Technologically empowered, they are fully aware of such crimes and yet they committed it which leaves no room for defending them.
A rapist is a rapist and deserves the befitting punishment of committing the crime. Period!
PS- As per the legal maxim ‘justice delayed is justice denied’, if one is wronged, justice must be served to right the wrong in the soonest possible manner, on the most beneficial moment for the person.
Looking forward to a swift and path-breaking judgment of the judiciary system in the Phaknung gang rape case.