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Nirbhaya Verdict Is an Exception, but Misogyny Is Still the Rule

Their-08-05-17  savagery jolted a Dhritarashtra-like society that began to at least blink and react to the horrors that stare women in the face on an everyday basis. Their impunity forced the legislators to amend the existing provisions in the Indian Penal Code on laws pertaining to sexual offences. They raped and brutalised a 23-year-old paramedic, nipping a promising life in the bud. They will now be hanged to death.

The Supreme Court of India has upheld the death sentence for the four of six rapists in the December 2012 gangrape case. One of the six accused committed suicide in Tihar Jail, while another, a juvenile at the time of the crime, is a free man.

Free are many others, some not even put on trial. Even if brought to the court, many more find it easy and fast to be acquitted, or at least be out on bail.

Systemic Inadequacies Persis

An almost criminal lack of forensic test facilities in the country is the reason why many rapists and other criminals go scot free. These systemic inadequacies spell disaster in terms of securing convictions, even when complaints have been filed. In many cases, the victim does not even register an FIR and that opens the age-old debate on police reforms in India.

During the 2012 agitations, it was rightly brought to attention that the police establishment reeks of misogyny. In many cases, the victim’s ordeal begins the moment she reaches the police station to file an FIR.

Amidst growing concern, the legislators and the police top brass unanimously assured that the police personnel would be sensitised in this regard. However, there were no concrete steps in sight. Police


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