Delhi gang rape judgment: Death penalty does not act as a deterrent, says rights group

New Delhi: Welcoming the judgment of a Delhi Court sentencing all the four accused for the infamous 16 December 2012 gang rape case, the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) stated that death penalty does not act as a deterrent to crimes against women.

"Even though the case may fit into the “rarest of rare” case doctrine, death penalty does not act as a deterrent. The hanging of Dhananjoy Chatterjee on 14 August 2004 has not reduced incidence of rape in West Bengal.” said Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

In fact, in 2012 West Bengal had recorded the highest incidence of crimes against women with 2,046 cases of rape, 4,168 cases of kidnapping, 593 cases of dowry deaths and 19,865 cases of domestic cruelty as per the latest Annual Report of the National Crime Records Bureau of the Government of India, he said.

The judgment of the Court today reinforces that in order to address crimes against women apart from reparation, the Government of India, among others, needs to create special funds to support the victims and their family members or relatives to enable them to follow up the cases to logical conclusion, he further said.

For that Chakma stressed the need of sensitive, pro-active and competent police investigation into the crimes, development of gender-sensitive, victim-centred procedural and evidentiary rules, filing of charge-sheet within specific time frame, appointment of special public prosecutors and trial in the fast track courts.


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