December 16 Delhi Sexual Assault Culprits’ Punishment Today

The absence of a clear cut unanimous definition for ‘Rarest of the Rare Cases’ doesn’t mean Death Punishment can’t be given in India. If the Statute book allows for death sentence, then it can be given.

 

The culpability of all four accused in the December 16 Sexual Assault case was established on Wednesday. Today, the Court will decide on the quantum of punishment (in simple, will decide on the type of punishment and will award the punishment). What the punishment will be, is for the Court to decide. So let’s not speculate on that.

We can talk about some other things though. Such as — Are those opposed to Death Penalty, want Life Sentence at All costs?

Well, this can be said for sure, for a section of this anti-capital punishment viewpoint. But this is not a surprise, as a section of Pro-Capital punishment viewpoint is equally adamant (in Hindi ‘Ziddi’) . So whether a group is demanding or opposing Death penalty for its vested interests is not a question here.

The Question here is: Are those opposed to Death Penalty, holding the opinion on a shallow ground?

Actually the opposition to Death Penalty in India arises from some landmark remarks by the Supreme Court of India. One such remark involves the definition of ‘Rarest of the Rare Cases’. In one of its rulings, SC has stressed on the need to relook into the criteria for defining  ‘Rarest of the Rare Cases’.

The SC sees such a need as it has observed that the thumb rules for  ‘Rarest of Rare Cases’ are arbitrarily applied even by judges at Supreme Court.  Hence, unless a fresh look into the criteria for defining  ‘Rarest of the Rare Cases’ is made, there is some hitch to placate cases under rarest of rare category.

The lack of clarity on Rarest of the Rare Cases and their arbitrary application doesn’t mean the citizens, pressure groups or the media can don the role of a Judge. This can’t be done as all these groups are least capable of looking at a case objectively (what is called seeing a case on its merit).

The reasons for this are:

  • Emotion
  • Vested Interests
  • Sensationalism
  • Lack of Objectivity
  • Lack of Enough material to assess a case
  • Not having opportunity to listen to both parties to the Case.

That apart, no matter what a decision is, one party to the case will always feel justice denied. Hence, Law being Blind and Objective, guided only by evidence, is actually in favour of the people.

That said, the absence of a clear cut unanimous definition for ‘Rarest of the Rare Cases’ doesn’t mean Death Punishment can’t be given in India. If the Statute book allows for death sentence, then it can be given. But only when the Court sees death sentence as the right Punishment.  Not by what I or you, or the aggrieved party,  think of as the right punishment. Hence, lets we be patient and wait for the Court’s decision. For obvious Reasons.

Comments on this entry are closed.