Societal attitude reason for denial of justice to rape victims: Anuradha Bhasin

Societal attitude reason for denial of justice to rape victims: Anuradha Bhasin

Death penalty not solution: Indira Jaising

Prominent women civil society members of the country on Wednesday held societal attitude responsible for denial of justice in cases of crimes against women. They also laid emphasis on the strict implementation of laws related to sexual violence. 

Women were participating in a training programme titled “Sensitivity of law related to women with special reference to medico legal aspects of rape trial” at the police auditorium here. The programme was organized by Voice for Rights, an NGO headed by prominent women and child rights activist Deepika Singh Rajawat. 

The speakers who spoke during the programme were Editor-in-Chief Kashmir Times Group of Publication Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, the first female Additional Solicitor General of India and an apex human rights lawyer Indira Jaising, chairperson, Jammu and Kashmir State Women Commission Nayeema Mehjoor, professor and head of department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Government Medical College, Srinagar Dr Farida Noor, the Supreme Court lawyer and former Additional District Judge (ADJ), Gwalior Sangeeta Madan and Rajawat among others.

The training programme was designed to provide a national forum to disseminate the highest level of training, information and strategies to the police officers and doctors.

The goal of the training programme was to provide practical instruction, using current information, the newest ideas and most successful intervention strategies, to those professionals who are responsible for combating the many and varied forms of crimes against women.

The programme started with inaugural speech presented by Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal. Taking about the denial of justice to the rape victims, Jamwal said it is because of the societal attitude that rape victims are not getting justice. 

Laying emphasis on the implementation of law related to sexual violence, she added that sexual violence is rampant in our society and as we develop deeper understanding of it, it needs to be updated time to time.

Indira Jaising, the first female Additional Solicitor General of India and an apex human rights lawyer presented a detailed lecture on Criminal Amendment Act 2013 with special reference to changes in law related to sexual abuse.

She also talked about aftermath of Nirbhaya’s case and praised Supreme Court judgments on women rights.

Jaising who also laid emphasis on the change in the society, said that death penalty is not the solution to combat sexual abuse.

She said, “Either there is something wrong with the procedure which is prescribed by law which makes implementation impossible or there is lack of political will to implement it.”

While holding the society responsible for sexual abuse, Nayeema Mehjoor, chairperson, Jammu and Kashmir State Women Commission said that women security in our society is in a crumbling illusion.

She said, “Enough number of laws related to protection of women, have been made, but the will to implement them in letter and spirit is missing. This is where we are lagging behind.” 

Dr Farida Noor, professor and head of department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Government Medical College, Srinagar, briefed the participants about the "Medico-legal aspects of rape trial".

She discussed law in relation to medical examination of survivors, victims of rape, sexual assault and guidelines and protocol of medical examination in sexual violence by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India which includes informed consent, history taking, examination proper, evidence collection, opinion drafting and maintaining chain of custody.

Dr Noor appreciated the initiative taken by “Voice for Rights” to organize such training programmes. She said everyone has a role to play to protect women rights and those who violate it should be punished severely.

Sangeeta Madan, the former Additional District Judge (ADJ), Gwalior and Supreme Court lawyer, held a detailed session on Section 498-A, RPC.

She also interpreted the judgments curbing the scope of section 498-A. Madan also presented detailed overview of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal at Workplace) Act, 2013.

The vote of thanks was presented by chairperson-cum-founder Voice for Rights, Deepika Singh Rajawat.

Speaking during the programme, Rajawat focused on the duties of the stakeholders in executing the law related to women.

She said that rape survivors need to be respected rather humiliated by society. She also laid emphasis on their rehabilitation and requested the chairperson, State Women Commission to come up with the projects to make them to earn a dignified survival.