Friday, January 18, 2013
Comments to Justice Usha Mehra Commission
Inquiry into various aspects of shocking incident of sexual rape and brutal assault to a woman in Delhi on 16th December 2012 and to identify lapses.
A rape reported through media in a moving bus in Delhi on the night of 16th December 2012 has shaken the entire country and in fact the way the crime has been conducted is never heard in the life time and the culprits whosoever needs to be punished under rarest of the rare crime category.
There might have been several lapses or may not be by various stakeholders and could be known only after the trial of the case. Corruption prevailing in the agencies, complicated laws, insecurity among the public to extend their arms of help in the fear of being dragged by the Police later on. The public has lost confidence and don’t come forward to extend the help as many a times they have been victimised not only by the police but also by the persons falsely pretending to be in disaster due to malafide intention of robbing the person extending the help. No one like to stop the vehicle even if such a person seeking help is really in disaster. One of the lapses in the system may be that we are not prepared for a disaster management and lack of sensitization in handling the issues. The major cause for such could be due to many factors like corruption, asserting rights without discharge of responsibilities, and most importantly could be a wrong image that has been created in the country that every call of such nature is a false call. It complies with a story of “Wolf and Shepherd” where the shepherd used to give a hoax call of attacking by wolf and one day the real call was not taken seriously. The fact could be substantiated that so many calls of similar crime after 16th December 2012 have been found to be false. The Acts have been legislated in such a way that the Act has been abused by the beneficiaries itself and the confidence of the law enforcers have been lost and a lot of time is wasted in presuming so many things before taking any corrective steps. Media gender biased trial also had reduced the confidence with the law enforcers which gets supplemented with the corrupt practices being followed in such Institutions.
In my view the Act need to be amended to ensure that none of its provision is misused by the beneficiaries and once we achieve zero tolerance in the misuse of rules and regulations, the law enforcers like Police and Judiciary need to be made 100% accountable. There need to be transparency which is the prime requirement for effective implementation of any rule. For example, if we consider refusal by Auto, the public still do not have confidence that if they complain to the authorities, action would be taken against the concerned Auto. This has resulted into rampant violations of rules and regulations. A fact that one violator produces hundreds violators cannot be disputed. In fact it is hearsay for all the people of this country that everything is purchase able with the money. Even now, the vehicles with tinted glasses are being plied in the capital. Some of the snaps which have been posted on my facebook account are the testimony to what I have stated above. A system need to be generated to be believed by the public that you cannot purchase injustice. The system of transparency would make sure that once a complaint has been made and its prosecution is made available on public domain that would encourage the public to come forward to ensure that their rights are protected. Whether it is violator or the person falsely implicated need a justice and should be visible. However as requested earlier before going ahead it need to be ensured that there are no false and frivolous complaints. Transparency in the system will make all stakeholders to be more accountable. There are no benchmarks for various associated activities like the police can drag the complaint for years together without any question being asked, judiciary can drag the cases for decades without any complaint system for redressal. This encourages real culprits to commit crimes as well as victimise the real innocent people being falsely implicated. In a situation where 98% cases of domestic violence are found to be false and may be 74% cases of rape and sexual assault are with malafide intention and then the accused getting implicated falsely are dragged into the litigations for decades, the heading of the society to which direction could be well imagined. Even such dragging attitude is not benefiting even those 2% of genuine cases of domestic violence and 26% of true victims of sexual assault as the “Justice delayed is Justice denied”
I am attaching a document dtd. 05/01/2013 submitted to Justice Verma Commission for your perusal. I feel the content of the document are pertinent to the present document also.
I would like to conclude that following factors responsible:
1. Corruption prevailing in the legal and law enforcing agencies
2. System opaqueness
3. Gender biased laws
4. Abuse of laws and no penal provisions for abusers
5. Non-provision of bench marks and
6. Non-accountability of Police and judicial authorities as all other associated services could be well tackled if point Nos. 1 to 6 as above are assured to be implemented.