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Nirbhaya Case Update: Former SC Judge Kurian Joseph Thinks Executing The Four Convicts Is Vengeance, Not Justice. No, This Is A Rarest Of Rare Case

March 19, 2020 | by Mitali Shah

I was 15 years old when Nirbhaya was gang raped and murdered by six aboard a bus. I was old enough to understand why waves of anger and remorse were erupting through the country, but I was too young to understand the actual gravity of this case. After a certain point, all those marches and protests weren’t only for Jyoti Singh (Nirbhaya), they were for all the women of our country.

Everyone was horrified at the sheer monstrosity of this crime. What makes six men do something like this to a 23-year-old woman? We will never know and maybe we don’t want to know. All we do want is to never have to name any girl “India’s daughter” again. After one convict (Ram Singh) committed suicide and the juvenile was let free, only four remain. Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta are headed to the gallows tomorrow morning despite their attempts at stalling their execution.

I know capital punishment has been debated about for a while now but there are some crimes that require this punishment. Like Nirbhaya for example, those four men gutted her and left her on the street to die after raping her for hours. I would think death is the only punishment that would fit such a heinous crime. I mean, they didn’t give her a fighting chance, why should they get to have one?

Also Read: Nirbhaya Case Update: The Convicts Write A Letter To The International Court Of Justice. But It Won’t Work

But it seems like former Supreme Court judge Kurian Joseph does not agree with me. According to him, hanging those four men will not bring justice to her parents. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I definitely disagree with him.

Kurian Joseph, on Wednesday, said “By hanging these people, will such type of crimes stop? In Bachan Singh case, Supreme Court had said that the death penalty can be handed over in rarest of the rare cases, and that too, only when all other options are unquestionably foreclosed.”

He also said that the meaning of justice is not taking one life for another and that the fact no freedom is the worst punishment someone can get. Continuing he said that if they were given life imprisonment, society would remember their crimes. But if they were hanged, we would all forget.

I have a few problems with the statements that Kurian Joseph is making. To begin with, I would just like to point out that the Nirbhaya case is an extremely rare one. How many times have you heard of six men using an iron rod to rape a woman? I don’t know what his definition of rare is, but this is most definitely not a normal occurrence. So, even by the precedence that he has stated these men should be hanged. Also, by hanging them gang rapes might not stop in our country, but at least the women of India will know that the law is backing them.

Also Read: Nirbhaya Case Update: Pawan Gupta Moves The Court Claiming He Was Thrashed In Jail. This Is Another Ploy To Delay The Execution

Another thing, I am not an expert when it comes to our judiciary but going by their history of trying to get out this by frustrating the law, if they are given life imprisonment there is always a chance they might actually get out of jail. Do we really want such inhuman men free on our streets again? So, they can find a second Nirbhaya to viciously attack? I don’t think so.

Besides, why do they get to torture a woman and live behind bars with free food and a roof over their head? I mean, they aren’t even remorseful about what they’ve done. Like I said earlier, despite the lack of morality behind capital punishment, for some evil crimes, this is the only thing that fits.

Kurian Joseph goes on to say, “Gandhi Ji had said that an eye for eye will only make the world blind. So in criminal justice procedure, there is nothing called vengeance. If I take your life that means you will take mine. This is not justice. Vengeance and retribution are two different concepts altogether.” He further added, “According to me even if the court has left out considering any of these aspects at the time of the considering the mercy petition, the president and the government also have a duty to take into account some of these aspects.”

Again, I do not understand how executing four men who performed some of the most heinous crimes our country has ever seen, is vengeance. In fact, if they were only given life imprisonment it would not be considered justice.

All four of them are to be hanged tomorrow morning at 5:30 am. This is the fourth date for their execution that has been issued to them and even then, they are trying everything they can to delay it.

For instance, Pawan Gupta filed a curative petition before the Supreme Court claiming that he too, was a juvenile in 2012 when the crime happened. Before him, Mukesh Singh filed a plea claiming that he wasn’t in Delhi on the day of the crime. Needless to say, the court is used to them claiming illogical things to slow the process down but this time, both their claims have been rejected.

And now, Akshay Thakur’s wife has said that she wants to file for divorce. Which makes sense, why would you want to be married to a man who raped a woman? But that is not why she wants to be divorced. Her reason is that she does not want to live as a “rapist’s widow”. Yep, she believes that her husband is innocent, but she can’t stand being his widow. She is doing the right thing, but for all the wrong reasons.

Reports say that this too is a tactic on their part to push the execution. We sincerely hope that does not happen but until then, we just have to wait and watch.



Mitali Shah

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