SC Uphelds Death Sentence In Nirbhaya Case But Does It Make Women Safer?


The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the death sentence awarded to the four accused in the horrendous Delhi Gangrape in December 2012. While the death sentence is being seen as the most appropriate punishment for the beastly crime that they had committed, my question is does it make our society any safer.

Even in this case, for that matter, the most beastly of the actions were committed by the juvenile in the case. However he got away with just 3 years in a juvenile home because at the time he committed this heinous crime he was just 3 months short of 18 and his action was taken in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Act. While his victim succumbed to grievous and inhuman injuries that she was subjected to, this so called juvenile is working in a roadside eatery.

Even when he was at the Juvenile Home, there have been evidence that he showed no remorse for the actions he committed. What is the assurance that this person will not repeat this kind of beastly action on anyone else? Or do we wait for another Nirbhaya before punishing this person?

Perhaps Justice Bhanumathi, the lone woman Justice in the Supreme Court, is the most appropriate representation of the utterly grotesque state of matters. She quotes Swami Vivekananda saying, “The best thermometer to the progress of a nation is its treatment of its women” and adds that, “crime against women not only affects women’s self esteem and dignity but also degrades the pace of societal development.”

Sadly enough for India, nothing much has changed in terms of reining in crime against women here. In fact it has risen almost 6% in the past 4-5 years. Assault on women accounted for a quarter of cases in 2016, rising nearly 82% since 2012. According to Government statistics, attempt to commit rape increased 5% in 2015, abatement of suicide has risen 4% and domestic violence has jumped 8% in a single year.

While the Judges hearing the Nirbhaya case delivered the most appropriate punishment to the four accused, how is society at large looking at tackling this inhuman trend? Well it needs the likes of you and me to get into action, to educate our children, spread awareness in our neighbourhood and take up the challenge to put an end to crime against women in this country. The question is are you ready to take up the responsibility?

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