Crimes against women
I have read your latest article in Newslaundry. I appreciate your sentiments, and with respect I share them. Rape and other crimes against women are a disgrace to a society and deserve harsh punishment. In my judgment in the Supreme Court in Satya Narain Tiwari vs. State of UP (which can be seen online) I said: “The hallmark of a healthy society is the respect it shows to women. Indian society has become a sick society”. In that case, I had said that death penalty should be given in cases of dowry deaths. In our country, young married women are often killed – because they did not bring enough dowry – by pouring kerosene on them and setting them on fire or hanging/strangulating them. Our courts have many such cases. This is a barbaric practice, and no mercy should be shown to such people. In Bhagwan Das Vs. State (NCT) of Delhi (see online), I said that death penalty should be given for “honour” killing of young couples who are killed by their relatives or caste panchayats because their marriage was inter-caste or inter-religious, or was disapproved of for some other reason. In my opinion, crimes against women are not ordinary crimes, they are social crimes. They disrupt the entire social fabric, and hence call for harsh punishment. When a man respects his wife, the child of such a couple sees that justice was done to his mother, who was physically weaker than his father. Hence such a child, when he grows up becomes a brave fighter against injustice. But if he sees his father beating or otherwise mistreating his mother he thinks that oppression and ill-treatment of the weaker is the normal way of functioning, and hence when he grows up he becomes an oppressor or a coward. A society in which a large number of women are maltreated becomes a sick society, as Indian society has become. I am therefore entirely with you in condemning crimes against women, including rape. However, what I wish to submit is that such crimes cannot be...
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