Penalty, according to Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir, is the best way to stop crimes against women in their tracks. He has directed all chief justices to take measures to soon set up subordinate courts which will deal exclusively with cases of offences against women, including rape.
Echoing the anguish of hundreds of citizens across the country over the undue delay in the serving of justice and the mounting case backlog, the CJI said it is time to fast-track cases of crime against women. “In recent times, there has been a marked increase in the number of such cases. Delay may be one of the factors contributing to the rise in the number of such cases, in as much as, on account of such delay, deterrence pales into insignificance,” the CJI said in a personal letter to all chief justices.
“The time has come when these cases have to be dealt with expeditiously, lest we should fail in our endeavour to arrest the sharp increase of crimes of violence against women,” he said as he referred to the gang-rape of a 23-year-old in Delhi.
He said the spontaneous outburst of outrage and anger to the Delhi rape, which he called a physical barbarism that “afflicts the very soul of the victim”, is a measure of how the incident “has left an indelible mark and shaken the conscience of the nation”.