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A 2 days old baby girl is flushed down the toilet by her own parents. A man in UP hangs up his wife, beats her, makes a video of the same and sends to her parents for demanding dowry. A daughter is denied a share in her father's self acquired property. A girl is raped. Such incidents and even more gruesome crimes are committed against the women in our country but why is it that rapes get more attention as compared to other forms of crimes like female infanticide, acid attacks, sexual harassment/exploitation, dowry deaths, cheating, murder, wife battering, maltreatment at home, honour killings? Is it because'sex sells' even in crimes? The rape crisis is just one facet of the multitude of problems that reflect the gender discrimination scenario in our country which are seen right through'womb to tomb'. It's quite interesting to see how in the wake of brutal rapes and murders, the whole country takes a 'holier- than- thou' stand, passes quick judgements on the accused, without analysing their own conduct and contribution in crimes against women. Popular media is rife with news of rapes which appear to be the most rampant and high profile of all the crimes against women. This hype in the media compels us to believe that rapes are on a dramatic rise. However, studies have shown that rapes have, more or less, followed a flat trend while the most dramatic rise has been seen in number of cases registered under cruelty by husband and his relatives. Cruelty by husband and his relatives, domestic violence and dowry related crimes account for more than half of the crimes against women. However, these are not considered worthy of our attention since the very powerful media is busy covering certain brutal and violent incidents having political undertones. India is traditionally a male dominated society where masculinity is about men acting tough, freely exercising their privilege to lay down the rules in personal relationships and above all, controlling women by making them limited and obedient to perform different functions of daily life. There are many laws but 'brutalisation of women 'seems to be on the rise and becoming too broad. Thousands of girls are becoming victims of this evil on a daily basis, which reduces their self respect, dignity and status, thereby hindering the social, economical, political and cultural progress of our country. Male dominated societal norms, economic dependence, overall lower status of women further exacerbates these crimes . Politicians are only as good as the people. Beastial masculinity and inefficiency of judicial and political system is a daunting challenge. We as a society need to modify our mindset regarding women and get our act together to accept them as human beings with equal rights, deserving equal respect and status. There is an urgent need for stricter laws, faster convictions, larger representation of women in judiciary and law enforcement. However, these are also symptomatic measures. Our society needs deeper surgery and extensive treatment, starting at home and continuing through years of schooling and beyond, which is undoubtedly a generational effort which must be collectively made by HRD and law ministry. As the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, we should let these incidents be the trigger which forces our society to take this first step. Let's start now.
YOUR HONOUR, DOES THE END JUSTIFY THE MEANS? In an unprecedented move which is rightfully being called a revolt, the 4 most senior judges of the Supreme Court of India, through a joint press conference on 12Jan2018, cast aspersions on the way in which cases are being selectively allocated to certain benches by the CJI. This insinuation , by these four judges, has created a storm not only in the judiciary but also in the minds of the citizens of this vast nation for whom the buck stops at the Apex Court , which for them, is the court of last resort and their faith vested in this supreme institution has undoubtedly taken a big hit. The charges levelled by these judges initially evoked disbelief and were criticized and frowned upon by one and all. However, the same has served as a catalyst for the CJI( the master of the roster) who is now trying to find ways to ensure transparency in allocation of cases. So, what's the way forward? What may be some of the ways to improve the administrative system in times to come? Well, while the 5 senior most judges may decide all the constitutional matters and CJI could reserve the right for keeping to himself hearing on certain extraordinarily important cases of national importance, other cases may be allocated through a computerized mechanism (to remove human element of favouritism) or based on the specialisation/years of experience in handling specific types of cases by the judges. And why not? In most other professions, there are areas of specialization, be it Medical, Teaching, Engineering , Defence Services . Without rule of law, it's not possible to fight corruption, poverty, disease and all other forms of injustice which are a hindrance in the development of a society. According to a survey of 1.1 lakh people across 113 countries, conducted by the World Justice Project, our country doesn't count among the most lawfully run countries (even seventy years after independence) and finds 66th place in this list. These rankings have been based on 8 parameters:curb on government power, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice. People of our country have immense faith in the Supreme Court of India and have extremely high respect for what this institution stands for. By washing dirty linen in public, these judges have achieved their target but at the same time, have planted a seed of doubt regarding the credibility of this supreme institution. "The Supreme Court's only armor is the cloak of public trust;its sole ammunition, the collective hopes of our society." Said Irving R.Kaufman. So once again, my lordships, does end justify the means? KMLAWASSOCIATES is the best and most trusted law firm with superlative success in corporate , business and commercial matters in Delhi NCR .
Should CRIME VICTIM COMPENSATION be a matter of mood or rationale? A 26yr old law student has been beaten to death by unknown people, outside a restaurant in Allahabad. Just about a week ago, a Delhi photographer was killed by his girlfriend's father and uncle. On 20.01.2018, a school principal in Yamunanagar, was allegedly shot dead in her office by her student . There have been numerous killings across the country in the name of honour, intolerance, road rage etc in recent times. Victims of such crimes are not only the ones who directly suffer the blow but also the family members who suffer mental, physical and economic harm as a result of the illegal activities of those who inflict the harm. The victims of such crimes have been provided certain safeguards in the Constitution of India under article 14& 21 and the laws governing compensation to these victims of crimes are contained in sections 357, 357(1), 357(2), 357(3), 357A, 358, 359 and 250 of Cr.P.C. However, there is no uniform policy on the compensation for victims of rape, riots, fire/other accidents, murder, etc., who are rather dependent on whimsical and irrational policy of relief. When there’s no uniform policy, how is one death deemed more deserving than the other?There is an urgent need for a rationale and clear method to award compensation where claims arise from loss of life on account of failure of public authorities. Presently, due to lack of legislation, States and their officials are wriggling out of their responsibilities by awarding arbitrary amounts in compensation. However, it is incorrect to let the mood of the state or the hype created by media be the deciding factors on how much compensation is announced by the state. In the absence of a uniform policy, politics(game of one upmanship), status of the victims or the community which they belong to or the media attention colour the decision of the state authorities in fixing the compensation amount and put a lid on such simmering controversies. It’s time to question the rationale and ask how the beneficiaries of these compensations are chosen since not all families coping with rape or murder of a loved one get treated equally. KMLAWASSOCIATES is a Dwarka based law firm with a commitment and dedication towards justice in all types of litigation.
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