The India Legal Show of May 9 featured the infamous Nirbhaya Gang Rape Case that shook the conscience of the entire nation. The show coincided with the decision of the apex court which upheld the death sentence to four of the key convicts — Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh in the Nirbhaya Gang Rape Case.
The show was anchored by Rajshree Rai, Editor-in-Chief, APN. The panelists included, Pradeep Rai, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court; Rupinder Suri, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court; Justice Ravinder Singh, Former judge, Allahabad High Court; Justice Shailendra Saxena, Former judge, Allahabad High Court; AN Tripathi, Senior Advocate and IB Singh, Senior Advocate.
Advocate Rupinder Suri opened the discussion and said that the decision was welcomed by the public. Though it took four and the half years to conclude, the reason was lawyers didn’t take up the case.
He said that the majority of the lawyers were not agreeing to fight the case for the six convicts and it was only after when Supreme Court appointed the lawyers as amicus, the proceedings were held.
Advocate Pradeep Rai was of the view that the cases of rape have already been shifted to the fasttrack courts and there are only few states like UP which are lacking in fasttrack courts to deal with the rape cases. He said that the major problem lies in the fact that most of the victims do not file their complaint in the police stations.
Rai believed that the only solution is to take stringent actions against the convict and also against the women who files fake FIR’s. “The gruesome case like Nirbhaya has proven that the country like India cannot function properly without the rule of law,” said Rai.
When Justice Ravindra Singh was questioned that why the investigation in rape cases are overlooked by the agencies. Singh answered it by suggesting some measures. He said that for rape cases, the platforms for deliberations should be enhanced. For this investigating agencies and its teams should specialize. After this, the speed of the filing of the chargesheet and police report should be fastened up. If these measures were not heeded, the justice will delay. And when there is delay in justice, then it defeats equity.
Supporting the Singh’s contention on ensuring the speedy trial and speedy justice in rape cases, Justice Shailendra Saxena said that still the deliberations in rape cases is of very low level. The investigations are given low priority in the Rape cases. After the Nirbhaya case, the amendments have been made. But issues such as how investigation should be done, what would be the standards of investigation and how speedily the trial would be done. These issues have not been resolved.
Advocate IB Singh said, “That if the life sentence does not acts as a deterrent in reducing the heinous crimes, then death sentence should be given. The perpetrators were running amok, so these kinds of decisions were important in reducing the rape crimes. So, I think the apex court took the right decision.”
—Compiled by Deepti Jain