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Is death penalty a deterrent?

Death penalty for the culprits in Nirbhaya gangrape case is not a permanent solution to deter the perpetrators of such heinous crime. Instead of death, the punishment should be such that they can feel the pain every second of their life. Some reforms like deployment of special police forces for the protection of women and opening up of special security cells that can work 24x7 are necessary. Moreover, poverty should not be allowed to be used as an excuse by criminals to commit crimes.



Immediately after the verdict in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case the defence lawyer vociferously condemned the death sentence and even claimed that he would not file an appeal against the judgment if no rape occurred after this death sentence. His utterance is indeed a daring challenge. It is horrible to observe that death sentence has not caused any deterrence as is evident from a spurt in the number of rapes after the verdict. When thousands of crime cases related to women are pending in courts, it is futile to expect a decline in rape cases. Justice must be meted out without any delay. The impact of punishment on society and the victim is lost if judgment is given years after the crime. The present set up smacks of apathy and neglect in registration and investigation of rape cases. Only high-profile cases jolt the police, prosecution and the judiciary to act faster. Of what use are deterrent laws if courts take years to decide rape cases. So, there is nothing to be happy about the so-called landmark judgment.



The landmark judgment in Nirbhaya gang-rape has been delivered owing to popular pressure and an effective role of the media. Undoubtedly, this will act as a deterrent but after this terrible tragedy the nation has earned the dubious distinction of being the third worst country in terms of rape offenders. We hope other such cases in different courts across the nation will also be given a priority. The conviction rate of rape cases has been just 26.4 per cent because of non-registeration of cases coupled with a lengthy, tardy and cumbersome criminal justice delivery system. Though nobody can bring back Nirbhaya, the verdict may give some solace to her parents and may be a lesson for others.

S K KHOSLA, Chandigarh


This landmark verdict will strengthen the faith of all women in the judiciary as they have been silent victims of oppression and violence for decades. They will have a better chance of fighting the injustice without any hesitation. The victim and her relatives suffer several difficulties in deciding to approach the police. It is more shocking when the culprit happens to be a relative of an important personality. Nirbhaya’s parents must heave a sigh of relief. May this verdict prove to be a great panacea for the victims of crimes like physical assault and molestation.


Jointmanship a must

This is in reference to the article ‘Tri-service jointmanship’ (September 19) by Rakesh Datta. The success of any army campaign, operations in wars and peacetime depends on the mutual support of the Army, Navy and the Air Force. In most of the Army’s war games and exercises, the Air Force and Navy are generally not involved. There is a dire need of ‘jointmanship’ to achieve a desirable command and control through cross service cooperation in all stages of military process and manoeuvring. If the operational requirements of the three services are worked out this way then the impact of armed operations would be much more. Besides, it would also strengthen mutual understanding among the rank and file of the armed forces. It is not being implemented due to unfounded fear of the government that if the three services are put under the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), it may not be safe for the democratic civil government which would unite the forces. This is not relevant and practical in the present conditions.

Owing to the absence of a CDS at the time of the 1971 Bangladesh war, Operation Cactus Lilly took more time to conclude. Had there been a ‘jointmanship’', we would have suffered lesser casualties. The military operations can be compared with a game, where different specialists are put to achieve the common goal under one captain. The government must realise and understand that the close tri-service jointmanship is now inevitable in order enhance military capability and efficiency of our country.





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