Archive for the Judicial Category

Supreme Court Judgment – Being Gay is A Crime – Some Questions, Some Answers

Posted in Judicial, Social on December 13, 2013 by swatiaiyer

Supreme Court has declared homosexuality a crime once again, barely 4 years after the Delhi High Court decision in 2009 to amend Section 377 of the IPC.  This is a 150 year old law introduced by the British which still exists in our Constitution.  The “crime” according to the SC will be punishable with a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

To say this reversal is regressive, disappointing, shocking, unfair, incomprehensible is a gross understatement.  The basic rights of a minority group of human beings is being totally denied to them.    Why?

Though the ruling was widely and visibly welcomed by India’s gay community, it was strongly opposed by religious groups, particularly leaders of India’s minority Muslim and Christian communities. They had appealed against the ruling before the Supreme Court, which concluded hearings on the issue in March last year.

(-http://english.cntv.cn/20131211/103436.shtml)

I have some simple questions to ask:

  • How does anyone prove two adults belonging to the same gender living under one roof are gays/lesbians?
  • Why give a weapon in the hands of the police, which they might freely use to harass innocent people besides homosexuals?  One more avenue opened up for blackmail and corruption?
  • What makes the courts decide that marital rape is not a crime, but a consensual relationship between two adults is?
  • What happens if gay marriages are not allowed and gays are forced by family and society into marrying “straight”?  How many individuals and families will end up miserable?
  • What does society gain by sweeping homosexuality under the carpet?  Do we mean to say it has never existed in India?  If it hasn’t, then what does one say about this sculpture:

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_India)

So why would we want to be slaves to a law which was introduced in this country by a colonial power?

Now here are some answers / counter-points to many accusations / arguments I have heard against homosexuality:

  • “It is unnatural”.  Who is to define “natural” or “unnatural”?  If it was so despicable and wrong and unnatural, would God allow such variants exist in His universe?
  • “It is unnatural because such a union cannot produce off-spring”.  There are many “straight” couples who are unabe to have children.  Does that make their relationship also unnatural?
  • “Would people proudly invite friends and family to the wedding of their son/daughter if it was a gay wedding”?  Well, maybe it is not happening today.  Why not?  Because our people, as usual, are afraid of “what will people say”?  (Add to that now, what if my son/daughter lands up in jail for the rest of his/her life?)  Can people asking such questions understand that if gays were treated like “us normal human beings” and social acceptance crept in, there will be a day when the parents of gays would not have any hesitation in getting their children married with much the same extent of celebration as if it had been a “normal” wedding?

 

When will we wake up and allow individuals to lead their own lives and concentrate on protecting those weaker sections of society which really need help?  Whom is this law trying to protect?  Self appointed guardians of public morals?  People who are willing to write off domestic violence, marital rape, child abuse as “domestic problems” in which they don’t want to “interfere”?  People who don’t think it their duty to report people who employ children and then subject to inhuman violence?  People who gather around an accident spot and watch the “tamasha”, but don’t think it is their duty to help the victim by taking him/her to hospital?  People who do not think what happens between two consenting adults is their own business or in their own words “a domestic matter”?

The Judgement

Posted in Judicial, Social on September 14, 2013 by swatiaiyer

Finally!  It took 9 months for a court to sentence the perpetrators of a heneious crime to death.  

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Judge-recounts-extreme-torture-says-brutality-showed-their-depravity/articleshow/22567822.cms

Our criminal system has a lot of patience and time – for criminals.  The victims have to wait long for justice.  Anyway, 9 months is not bad compared to some cases which have to wait for so long that justice is ultimately denied to them.  This turned out to be a high profile case with very strong public reaction and opinion and was in the media eye.  Hence it took this relatively short time.  There are so many Nirbhayas in this country who do not even come to light.  Their cases are not reported for obvious reasons.  Those cases which are reported and which do reach the court take their own sweet time. to reach a logical conclusion.  In the meantime the rapist might be roaming the streets freely on bail, while the victim continues to be hounded.

Here is a case which made me wonder at the fairness or the unfairness of it all.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Rapist-burned-to-death-by-victim-in-MP/articleshow/22365525.cms?intenttarget=no

Rapist gets bailed, killed by victim and victim gets jailed for murder.  Double whammy.   Isn’t it high time that something is done and really harsh measures are taken against such criminals, so that women do not continue to suffer injustice at the hands of society as well as of the law?

Meanwhile, I still feel outraged that the “juvenile” has got away with 3 years.  He too needs to be hanged.  If he was adult enough to indulge in a rape, he is adult enough to be hanged.

Pleas of a second chance for the criminals does not cut any ice.  Did Nirbhaya get a second chance at life?  Was she not young?  What was her fault?  That she was a woman?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/Injustice-cry-Nirbhaya-gang-rape-convicts-kin/articleshow/22568254.cms

The kin of the convicts cry foul and feel that their son/brother/husband is a “support” to the family even if he is alive inside jail.  What about Nirbhaya?  She was training to be a physiotherapist.  Would she not have been useful to her family, friends and to society?  Was she less of a support just because she was a woman?  

Should They Be Hanged?

Posted in Judicial, Social on September 12, 2013 by swatiaiyer

The culprits of the Delhi rape case are going to be sentenced on Friday afternoon.  “Hang them!” is the public sentiment.  Their act resulted in the death of an innocent girl.  Everyone wants to see them dead.

Normally I would oppose death penalty on the grounds that two wrongs do not make a right.  But this time it is different.  The magnitude of the crime committed is unimaginable.  Hence I would oppose the death penalty for these sub-human creeps for totally different reasons.

My question is, is the death penalty sufficient for such criminals?  They will be hung.  They will die in a maximum of a minute or two.  The suffering and agony will be over in a short span of time.  They will not have to face the public after that.   Unlike a rape victim who is subjected to so much of shame and scrutiny by society, they won’t have to live through public humiliation although they are the criminals .  They won’t have to live to regret their actions.  So what is the point behind killing them?

I wish we had some medieval laws for the culprits of rape.  They should be castrated, have their hands and feet chopped off and thrown out on the streets at the mercy of the public, left to starve.  They should have to fear being tortured in the same way they did their victims by other perverts stalking the streets, they should know agony, fear, humiliation, indignity.  They should face all the horrors they heaped on their victims.  This is the only punishment that would work in our country.

Alternatively, they should be whipped publicly everyday till they die.  I know this sounds downright retrograde and cruel, but is any punishment sufficient for what they did to their victim?

“Accused persons adopted a unique modus operandi to do the acts,” additional sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna said in his judgement.

“They, besides causing external bodily injuries, inserted the rods in abdomen of the victim. They did this act repeatedly and pulled out internal organs even by their hands…” the court noted.

The judge also observed, “The important aspect of this trial is the manner in which both rods and hands were used for damaging the alimentary canal and pulling it out from the body (of the girl).

“This act of complete destruction of the most vital parts of the body can never be termed as intending to cause bodily injuries and rather it will be act done with intention of causing death.”

The court noted that the accused were acting in a premeditated manner and deceived the victims into boarding the bus thinking it is going towards their destination and then humiliated and gang-raped the girl.

After her body became devoid of any resistance, iron rods and hands were inserted into the abdominal cavity, the court noted.

The judgement against the culrpit was not yet out and the media went beserk with the news of yet another gang rape of a young woman – a photojournalist on an assignment – in Mumbai.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Rapists-should-get-life-term-for-ruining-my-life-Victim/articleshow/22015011.cms?

Obviously this was not the first time for these criminals as the following link proves.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hang-my-rapists-Mumbai-girl-says/articleshow/22496988.cms

Day in and day out one hears and reads about rapes, molestations (often coyly referred to as eve-teasing), acid attacks on women and the like.  These are only the reported cases.  How many cases go unreported?  How many never get heard about because some heavy weights are involved and the case is hushed up?  Is it surprising then that we end up with a culture where many parents do not want daughters and choose to selectively terminate the lives of female fetuses?  Of course this affects the gender ratio leading to a vicious cycle where for want of sufficient girls, crimes against women only rises further.

In the light of all this, only the most stringent punishment will be sufficient for people who commit such horrendous crimes against humanity.

But sadly enough, this is just wishful thinking and will not happen.  So the least I can hope is that they will be locked away in isolated cells to starve slowly to death and the key to their cells should be thrown away.

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