MASS PROTESTS CAN NOT SUBDUE THE ‘DUE PROCESS OF LAW’

Notwithstanding the public impulse and unbridled mass uproar demanding lynching of the rape accused in the sensational Delhi Rape case, by stating that ‘a swift-trial for Rape accused should not be at the cost of a fair trial and can not overwhelm the due process of law’, the Chief Justice of Republic of India Lord Justice Altmas Kabir has acquired the image of Judge of international standards, like Lord Justice Leveson of U.K and Justice Markendeya Katju who are known for their outspokenness within the Judicial ambit.  A very significant remark the Chief Judge of India made was that instead of playing a blame-game the root-cause of the problem of sexual violence against the women should be found, really require special attention of law-makers, before making off handed amendments to the existing laws relating to sex-related crimes against women in specific and other crimes of similar nature in general, to satiate the public and media uproar.

“Root-cause of the problem” is the very very important word used by the Chief Justice of Republic of India. Any responsible citizen, who abides by law, would highly appreciate to debate on the ‘Root-cause of the problem” instead of evading and avoiding it, and concentrate on finding ways to wipe out the root-causes of the problem, first.  Any one who tries to ignore or intentionally protest on discussing the factors related to the root-cause for the attempt to rape or rape problem, are irresponsible and impulsive. For instance: if a patient approaches a Physician to get treatment for the disease to some of his body part, Doctor tries to find of the root-cause of the disease to make the patient healthier in over all way by treating all the related factors that are cause for that main disease, but do not senselessly cut and throw away that effected body part, and tell the patient that he has been cured or become healther, because that disease effected body part has been removed from the body. In search of finding the root-cause of the rudimentary problem, if the treatment is time-consuming to make the patient healthier in overall way, but if the patient, impatiently accuses the Doctor that he is not efficient to treat the disease, that blame-game would demoralize the Doctor, instead of treating the patient effectively, and patient would remain like a patient for ever in life. If every Doctor learns to cut the limbs or parts of the patients that are affected by diseases, then every human being would take some kind of awakard shapes whenever he approaches the doctor for treatment with one or the other kind of disease.

Similarly, for social crimes/problems also, if root-causes of the crimes/problems are not found, but laws are passed yielding to mob-uproar and public impatience, then Democracies would turn into Mobocracies and other institutions like Judiciary and bureaucracy would get demoralized to think on the sound lines and to implement the existing laws. Now for social problems/crimes the mass demand is for lynching the accussed. It is unfortunate that masses are unable to comprehend that they and their family members themselves would get victimized one day for such proposals. Now the women who are demanding for beheading, shooting at point blank of Rape accused, or emasculating them, would one day regret, in post-enactment period for seeking such one-sided, draconian law if their own sons, brothers, husbands or relatives get victimized to such laws, if really false rape cases are filed against their men, by some sections of professional wicked women, because, draconian amendments are being sought by some sections of mobs with, ‘on the spot justice’ to Rape complainant, with out resorting to due process of law. How gruesome the crime might be, the accused if once proved of committing the crime must be punished severely, under the due process of law alone, but not through lynch law.

After Delhi rape-case incident, series of rape incidents have been reported across the country, alleging that rape has been committed on some women by some men and the accused included some government employees and also minor boys. I would cite one report published in ‘The Hindu’ India’s national daily on 28/12/12, under the title ‘Another Gang Rape in Delhi’ reveals that a 42 year old marred women hailing from Jaipur, alleged that three men have gang-raped her and told the police that one of the Rape accused Mr.Dilip Verma, who offered lift to her in his car to go to Delhi raped her at an unknown place. Police registered a cased U/s 376 of IPC. Sources to the Delhi police said that a few months ago also the rape-victim had filed a complaint of attempt to rape against the said Dilip Verma at the Sikandra police station in Agra. The surprising aspect that remained unanswered in this incident is that when the victim knew that Dilip Verma had attempted to rape her a few months ago, but why again she accepted lift offered by him in his car to go to Delhi?

Yet in an another incident reported in The Hindu daily on 31/12/12, under the title ‘Woman murdered after gang rape’,  revealed that a middle aged women was murdered  near Barsat 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal. The family members of the women complained that a gang raped and murdered her. However, District Superintendent of Police Sugata Sen told the reporters that Post-mortum report did not mention of rape and there were no signs of external injury or abrasion on the victim’s body. Here the crime is murder, but the word rape seems to be additionally added by the complainants.  In a similar incident reported in The Hindu daily on 3/January/2013 under the title ‘Woman murdered, rape suspected’, revealed that a 36 year old married women was reported to have been raped and murdered in Veligndla village in Prakasham district in Andhra Pradesh. But the Superintendent of Police Raghuram Reddy told the reporters that it did not appear to be a rape as there were no marks of struggle on the body except that of strangulation of neck, it did not appear to be a case of forced sex, but could have been with her lover. Dy.Supt. of Police K.Venkatalaxmi also expressed the same view after her investigation.

The Scoop News on 4, January 2013 reported that Shopian police in Srinagar have arrested a rape accused Mr.Shabir Ahmad Wani son of Manzoor Ahmad Wani resident of Aliyalpora, Shopian who is alleged to have raped a minor girl in November, 2012. Parents of the victim had lodged a report in Shopian police station that Shabir Ahmad Wani son of Aliyalpora, had raped their daughter on 25th November, 2012. Shopian police registered a case under FIR No. 01/2013 under section 342, 376 of Cr.P.C. Here in this incident, rape allegation has been taken with retrospective effect, almost one month after.

The mass uproar and media-hype of the Delhi rape incident and the rape complaints that are reported thereafter in the media and demand for public hanging, shooting at point blank the rape-accused publicly without obliging to due process of law, has been spreading a state of confusion among the law-executors and demoralizing them to make proper scientific investigations into the incidents and some mobs-demands have gone to the extent that any crime against the women must be dipcted as rape or attempt to rape,  perhaps only to yield a draconian one sided amendement to the existing rape-related legal provisions without scientific discussions on the implications and future consequences of such proposals/amendments on the other innocent men in the society. Mobs and media are applying pressure on the minds of people in power not to consume time to think in rational manner, who are supposed to make, execute and adjudicate the laws in sensible manner.

Because, this country had experienced in the past one and half decade how the women related-laws such as Dowry Prohibition Laws, Domestic Violence laws have been misused by fathers, mothers and brothers of married girls/women to resolve their ego related short-temperments, family rivalaries, personal grudges and their other fraudulent and criminal tendencies in the guise of dowry harassment, and domestic violence complaints. The courts also on several occasions practically realized how these laws have been misused by some sections of people and police and contributing for the collapse of the Indian family and matrimonial system.  Similarly if the proposed draconian amendments given to Section 376 of IPC related to Rape or altogether a new Rape-Law, if fallen into the hands of wicked men and women that could even be more disastrous to the man – women relations in the society and new crimes and frauds are likely to emerge to settle various socio-political-financial and personal scores between men and men; between men and women, by prompting and inciting certain wicked and selfish women to file attempt to rape or rape cases against their rivals. Because of the reason that identity, name and address of the women-complainant is not made public to protect the privacy of the complainant, chances of misuse of the law is greater in these cases than other cases, as the complainant’s identity is thoroughly protected and accused if happened to be really innocent, would be in panic for not knowing who made complaint against him initially, and chances to vouch for the innocence of the Accused or confirming the fraudulent background of the complainant, would become difficult task for the witnesses.  ‘Professional complainants’ would also emerge for earning money by targetting rich and reputed men in the society, who first make acquiantence with them, and later file cases of attempt to rape or rape cases if their unethical demands are not yielded or if unlawful favours are not made to them.  And later to withdraw such cases hefty amounts would change the hands in negotiations.

Already existing legal provisions and judicial guide lines on the Rape related complaints, conceals the Rape Complainant’s identity, name and address to protect her social image and privacy and the accused right from the beginning of allegation by a women against him, would be branded by the electronic media as a criminal to damage his social image by highlighting his face repeatedly, to sensationalize the case, much before the allegations are proved, because the electronic media/channels always played irresponsible role in greatly nurturing several social problems/crimes in the country. Suppose if he is really proved innocent in the trial process who would restore his social image and what compensation would be given to him? Will he not be looked always as a Rapist in the eye of the society, inspite of proving his innocence?

By and large the masses in this country never made an uproar akin to that of anti-rape protest in Delhi, on the transmission of Internet pornography, telecasting of semi-nude sexually provocative dances of female artists in the movies, television channel advertisements, spreading cheating tendencies in the guise of movie comedy, luring the family oriented women into provocating dances in the guise of television programmes that are nurturing unethical attitudes and undesirable relationships between women and men in the guise of freedom and expression. And these concealed and undesirable relations if boomeranged are taking the shape of social crimes.  People also never made Delhi type of uproar for stringent implementation of the already exising laws relating to prevention of obscene representation of women in movies and public places. Public are not demanding the law-makers to make or implement the related laws to wipe out the other root-casues that are contributing for gruesome social crimes such as rape and other social crimes but making impulsive demands in a passion mood, that resembles something as I said above, like demanding Physician to cut his/her nose if it is effected by severe cold, instead of heeding the doctor’s advise of not to eat ice cream, not to consume cool drinks, not to move in the snow weather, during the cold.  If Physician once yielded to treating to patient according to patient’s whims and passions then Physicians would habituate himself to cut the disease effected body parts of all the patients, instead of rendering the medical treatment as per the medical procedures and would forget his subject knowledge and divine responsibilities in the course of time.  In the family also if a termagant child cries and demand for buying a real pistol for him to play, will parents buy it to endanger the lives of others in the society or slap him to keep silent? Law-makers, Law-executors and Law –adjudicators must always play the role of father in the society, instead of they themselves yielding to children demands.

With our own weakness we are treading the wrong path and habituated to bad habits and after getting affected for our own mistake, we are blaming the law-makers, law executors and law-adjudicators to make and implement draconian laws to apply them to the entire society as if every one is a bad fellow or a criminal.  Such kind of tendencies would only help in further endangering the lives of innocent people in the hands of wicked people. If elders and virtuous people advise us to be in self-discipline and virtuous path we are abusing them as if they are restraining our freedom. In various social aspects/problems we have accoustomed to bad habits, and treading bad paths and instead of getting rid off such bad habits, blaming the governments not doing anything to us, but, when an individual is affected by it, taking the help of visual media, who always lurk to sensitize the situations and to infuse further confusion into the society, to make money.

Instead of realizing after a decade or so how these draconian amendments to rape-related laws have been misued, it is better if proper scientific approach is adopted before propsing amendments to existing laws related to rape and other sexual crimes against women, with stringent punishments if crime is proved against accused and also severe punishments in case of misuse of such law by wicked and fraudulent men and women to gain the personal ends, to settle the personal scores against their rivals in the work places, at neighbourhoods, or at educational institutions. Have we not seen on some instances how the sexual harassment laws at work places have been misused by some sections of women, to evade work, or to conceal their corrupt deeds, and if memos are issued to them for indiscipline, by male officers.  So definitely, if stringent laws are made with a view to do justice by taking few incidents, the same laws would also be taken as advantage by wicked and fraudulent people to realize their personal ends.

Besides implementing the existing laws peoperly, what is required for minimizing the crimes against the women are, -  passing guideline for the women/college going girls at work places and educational institutions not to make undesirable acquiantences with unknown men personally or through mobile phones, and not to get enticed and influenced by unrealistic love, sentiment crammed movies and semi-nude sexually exciting dances of film heroins and heros and following them as role-models in the life, educating both men and women particularly parents of girls and boys not to reckon matrimonial relations from commercial perspective and as money-oriented relations, and not to nurture perverted tendencies among the innocent women/college girls to dress improperly and if any body points it out, shout at them to change their mind-set and remain as stoics irrespective of their dressing patterns in the public. Is requesting the women to dress properly when moving in the public places, an offence on part of elderly men?   For really victimized women in rape incidents, if the existing laws are insufficient enhanced punishment may be proposed and required justice may be given to them through honest investigations and proper implementation of laws combined with speedy trial. But whatever the proposals made with stringent punishment for Rapists, without making penal provisions for misusers would once again cause harm for the innocent men in the society, and any such amendments or new laws would once again go in vain unless the root-cause for the core problem are also eliminated. The Lok Satta Party and the Foundation for Democratic Reforms, at Hyderabad suggested that if false sexual harassment cases are filed against the innocent men a cognizable and non-bailable offence with a penality of at least five years rigorous imprisonment. To that extent the two organizations have sent a report to Committee of Eminent Jurists headed by Justice J.S.Verma.

So, unless all the related root-causes of the problems are wiped out and unless we change our selfish life styles, bad-habits and attitudes, presuming that we are thinking in sound lines and invite draconian one-sideed laws; one day they would destroy our own lives. And it would appear something as if, we are eating food keeping it in wollen blanket and trying to remove the hair in the food.  By dchaitanya.