Karnataka High court has recommended an amendment in section 376D declaring gang- rape a capital punishment for the accused. Observing that even though the Indian penal code has been in force for 74 years yet our country is not a safe place in the hands of the violators/rapists. A division bench of Justice B Veerappa and Justice K Natrajan made this recommendation in the judgment while upholding the life sentence imposed on seven accused of the National Law school of India in university in 2012 case.
The bench said, “We hereby recommend the Legislature/Central Government to further amend the provisions of Section 376D of Indian Penal Code – Gang rape into capital punishment in addition to the existing provision for imprisonment of life and with fine on par with the provisions of Section 376AB and 376DB of Indian Penal Code keeping in view of definition of 'Woman' under Section 10 of Indian Penal Code in order to curb the menace of 'gang rape' in the society at large." Gender Sensitivity is intrinsic in enhancing the safety of women in all places. Despite the stringent penal amendment which took place in the Nirbhaya case, there exist lacunas in the system of law and it is the need of the hour to enact strict legislation and with the help of the law eradicate such sins from taking place in the society. In order to fully abolish the evil shackles of rape the first step is to aware of the public of its consequences not only on the victim but the society at large. The court thus observed the key role of NGOs, Women organizations, Stat legal service authorities, the print, and electronic media to remove such atrocities by spreading widespread awareness to the public. Rape is not the fault of the accused it is the fault of the values, culture, rules, and norms of a society. The patriarchal mindset in our country looks down on women as inferior even in the 21st century. The struggles faced by women do not only date back to primitive times but pervade even in the contemporary world. There can be several precautions that can be taken such as sensitization of gender justice and equality, installation of CCTV cameras at unsafe places, Installing various safety applications and helplines, etc. But precautions are never the cure for the problem. If there is no such existence of the problem then there would be no need to take such steps. Thus, the only long term solution to curb the menace is a change in mindset.
The ghastly crime took place in the vicinity of National law school in Bangalore in 2012. The barbaric act left the entire country shunned and created a public furor in the state. The court stated that the accused shall not in any way get away with such acts and dealt with in the strictest way possible. The court further noted that rape is against the fundamental right to life guaranteed under article 21. It is thus an unlawful intrusion on the right of privacy and sanctity of women. The court further appeals to the general public to be supportive of the survivors.