Death penalty and closure in Nirbhaya verdict

I don’t know whether we should rejoice on account that four of the perpetrators in the Nirbhaya rape case have been sent to the gallows. I wonder whether one can call it retributive justice! Call it what you may, but, yes, there is a sense of relief and little bit of justice restored when the four culprits have been sentenced for the heinous crime committed. There have been online petitions to bring the rapists to task and the Varma committee came up with reforms in the judiciary and the creation of the fast track court. However, it is premature to speak about closure in the case as well as several other cases where innocent victims were raped.

1. It is a mockery of justice that the most violent culprit, the so-called, teenager has been confined to a juvenile home to less than three years. I still maintain that it is a travesty of justice and being less than 18 is no excuse to commit rape. There is no issue of being a juvenile and a crime is a crime. I wonder whether we can call it closure in the Nirbhaya case!  Sentencing the four victims is one side of the coin.

2. The fast track court took nine months to deliver its verdict in this case. Imagine the trauma the likes of Nirbhaya’s parents  have been through during the deliberations of the case and if we are really serious that there shouldn’t be another Nirbhaya, let’s set a time frame so that the fast track court deliver a timely verdict. A verdict in such cases should be delivered in less than three months.

3. There shouldn’t be ‘selective justice’ in violent crimes such as rape and murder. In far away places, girls and children are molested and raped as one is tempted to ask why people from humble background and coming from underbelly of society do not get justice. First and foremost, let the Nirbhaya case serve as an example to make sure that justice is given to each and every member of society. Secondly, the victim or its  family should be made to feel they are of the society and authorities must ensure that justice be served to everybody, rich or poor. It is only then that we can speak of ‘inclusive justice’.

4.  What is needed is change in society and dirty legal tricks spearheaded by the accused lawyers should be put to an end. It is a shame that lawyers of the likes of M L Sharma in the Nirbhaya case has used all kind of cheap and dirty tricks  in the book to postpone the delivery of justice. That’s why the fast track court efficiently delivering justice should be implemented and justice must be seen to be delivered. In the Nirbhaya case, justice was delayed but finally delivered.

5. We need to learn our lessons on the aftermath of Nirbhaya case, the rape of the young photo journalist in Mumbai and the gruesome sexual crimes that young children and women in different nook-and-corners of India are subjected to. Rape is a gruesome and heinous crime which destroys the life of a woman and Nirbhaya case should go down in history as an example to bring an overhaul in the justice system. We need to remember that it is owing to mass protests throughout India that the Government came up with reforms. I have doubts whether there would have been any closure if no mass protests took place in India. In the same vein, it is the need of the hour to reform the juvenile laws to restore justice and confidence in the system. Moreover. there must be exceptions even if the offender is below 18 and the latter must be treated like any other convict and made to pay for crime committed. Let’s not play the human rights card since it never work in such heinous crimes. I also wish to point out that there are upper caste leaders and politicians sitting in parliament who have been guilty of murder and rape. Is there any closure?

6. Finally, I come to laws. It is simple: Till we don’t enforce strict legislation that deal in a harsh manner with rapists, one cannot speak about closure. We need laws that will serve as a deterrent to crime and, in this respect, I am in favor of Saudi Arabia and Gulf laws that should serve these criminals right. Let’s stop this show of under 18 is a juvenile and cut the crap and it is only strict laws that will serve as a deterrent to crime.

Having said all that, I must say that the judgement should be applauded and in a certain way, the sentence couldn’t have been less considering the manner in which the crime was committed. In fact, I would go to a further extent in saying that the culprits should have been given life long imprisonment and tortured in jails. They have been given an easy death and too easy for the gruesome  crime that they committed.


  1. All the points to me seem valid. however an overhaul of the judiciary is what we are seeking. Also, its not just rapes we are fighting against but other harassing crimes against women and children. I hope we get a ray of light soon.


    • The main thing is reform of the entirely legal process so that justice is not delayed and criminals under the lamest excuse are not let off. This is what I feel and what a tragedy for someone to go unpunished. Thanks, Kajal for reminding on harassment against women. I just let it slipped and it should be made a crime. Hope we will see light of the day but the common people should put pressure on authorities who has the habit of nicely ignoring.I should say thanks to you:)

  2. People are getting aware and in the recent few months have been active in protesting against the crimes and the level of corruption in our country.As far as such heinous crimes are considered,there was a necessity of such action to be taken,for it wont change the mentality of people in a day who are the perpetual criminals,but a person will think twice and shall be in limits when he knows,such punishment lies further when he crosses teh line. A harsh example is necessary to show the people,beware and stop,else you too go thus.
    The juvenile isnt a person who is juvenile just coz he is a minor,if he is a minor in terms of age, he wouldnt have done the gruesome act nor would have been a part of it ,instead would have helped the girl an dher friend,had his conscience an dinnocence been alive.
    He has crossed the age of such innocence and it shall be one in million that a juvenile of such crime will improve and be a normal citizen.

    • Soumya, there is some hope and relief as people are coming out to protest in India against sexual violence, eye-teasing, stalking and sexual harassment. It brings comfort as women are filing complaints and speaking about the crime. I believe that there should be no shame and those criminals must be shamed.You are so right! Mentality will not be changed in a day or two and capital punishment will bring to light and serve as a deterrent, though it is debatable. That’s why I am in favor of Gulf model of punishment. He is not a juvenile or cannot be considered as minor for the crime committed. There was a case in Delhi when someone was let off after killing his neighbor. He threatened to do the same to the victim’s sister. So, there is no question of reform! He didn’t think twice before raping the woman. So well said and you made a strong case. Hope, the Government will be brave enough to amend juvenile laws.

    • I did! I still can’t digest the fact that his bloody psychopath ass has been let off on account of weak law. Such kind of people can never be reformed. Period. Those rascals lawyers should be jailed for uttering crap and nonsense. Guess, by interacting with the criminals, they have become one. Google this moron lawyer, M L Sharma.

  3. I appreciated reading this thoughtful write up. I agree with you that the teen got off easy here. In the US, they can decide to prosecute certain youth as adults. That should always be an option. I’m sorry, but a teen should know very well that rape is a crime. My eleven year old knows that. It’s hard to celebrate a death sentence, but at least there feels some sense of justice, and perhaps it will help deter such behavior in the future? Only time will tell.

    • Jannat! I am happy to get the US perspective on the case. I believe there should be an exception and law makers must exercise judgement in the better interest of all like Kant said, maximum good in society should prevail over maximum evil. One doesn’t always need to go by the book. Being under 18 is no justification to commit crime and the judgement has condoned such behavior. Let’s see whether the capital punishment will deter such behavior but I think it is a fair judgement. What is needed is a complete reform of the entire legal system, including revising the juvenile law.

  4. I concur with you in all your points mentioned. Death penalty was merely a fraction of punishment as compared to what the girl had been through. And the family which will suffer till their last breath. Laws in India are mockery of our jurisdiction system. Security and safety are just two words when it comes to women. Sad!! Shame!!

  5. This is certainly not a closure. What if they appeal to higher courts? I am not sure if they can do that, but I am guesing they can, as this is the verdict of a fast track court, not supreme court.
    You have covered all points. But for every case that is reported, there are several thousands that go unreported. Closure would be when every rapist, in every nook and cranny, is so afraid of the punishment that he will think 1000 times before even letting his thoughts veer in that direction.
    Point 6 is very essential in today’s scenario. We need much stricter laws.

  6. I think what angered me most was that the most cruel and brutal of them all got away without punishment just because he wasn’t eighteen when he committed the crime. I don’t know when punishment will be doled out on based on the type of crime instead of the age of the criminal….one day maybe…and I hope it is soon….
    Thanks for a post like this.

    • The feeling is mutual, Preeti. Believe me! I am furious how the f*** this criminal has been dealt leniently with. I disagree strongly when they claim he should be reformed. No, he can’t since the crime is so heinous and inhuman. Sadly, we have failed to set a strong deterrent. It doesn’t help to go by the book every time and law makers have gone a big disservice. Thanks for ur comments:)

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