No sympathy to rapist
Deterrence is a key to prevent crimes against the fairer sex. In other words, the only way for the government to demonstrate its commitment is to render justice to victims of sexual violence by ensuring a speedy trial and getting exemplary punishment for offenders. That trial that yield such outcomes is a matter of considerable satisfaction.
The sentencing of a private school teacher to ten years rigorous imprisonment for raping a minor student in uptown of Srinagar ought to be gratifying for couple of reasons. The final verdict has come in about 2 years of the crime, and it imposes the ten years rigorous punishment available in law under penal provisions.
The shameful act of the convicted teacher has not only spoiled the life of the victim but has shaken the conscience of the society at large. As pointed out by the apex court, the sexual violence apart from being a dehumanising act is an unlawful intrusion of the right to privacy and sanctity of a female. It is a serious blow to her supreme honour and offends her self esteem and dignity. It degrades and humiliates the victim and leaves behind a traumatic experience for her.
As pointed out by the apex court, an underserved indulgence or liberal attitude in not awarding adequate sentence in rape cases would amount to allowing or even encouraging potential criminals.
The ten year jail term is by no means a liberal attitude by the court towards the convict who is only breadwinner of the family comprising his baby girl, wife, old-aged parents and two sisters, one of whom has been deserted by her husband along a child.
The incident has also brought to fore the vulnerability of girls in tuition centres and need for the government to ensure that no teacher dares to carry the dehumanizing act against the adolescent girls, most of them are gullible.
The lack of visible policing in a Srinagar city with considerable scope for opportunistic crimes against women added to their vulnerability. Stronger laws, quicker trials and convictions may foster trust in the criminal justice system. The idea that sexual offenders do not enjoy impunity and are ultimately made answerable to the courts is a source of comfort, but the possibility that such crimes will recur is not. Under these circumstances, the government must put all paraphernalia to ensure that girls are not victimized and society at large is benefited.