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Death penalty a threat for victims

As the chorus for death penalty to rapists grows, National Human Rights Commission chairman Justice KG Balakrishnan on Wednesday said such a provision could expose a victim to a greater risk as the tormentor/s might try to kill her, Satya Prakash reports.

delhi Updated: Dec 20, 2012 01:24 IST
Satya Prakash

As the chorus for death penalty to rapists grows, National Human Rights Commission chairman Justice KG Balakrishnan on Wednesday said such a provision could expose a victim to a greater risk as the tormentor/s might try to kill her. Terming the gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedical student as “beyond human imagination”, Justice Balakrishnan said, “The guilty must be given severe punishment.”

But as regards the demand for death penalty to rapists, he sounded a note of caution.

“One lurking danger is that the rapists may have a propensity to kill the victim, if a mandatory death penalty is prescribed for the crime … the victim may be killed by the rapists,” the NHRC chief said.

He said cases like the Sunday incident can not be manipulated, but several accused have also been falsely implicated.

He also expressed concern over policing in the capital. “We are generally concerned about policing. It should improve … patrolling should be increased in the city," he said.

On Tuesday, raising serious questions over poor policing in the capital, the commission had sought reports in two weeks from the union home ministry and the Delhi Police on the rape in a moving bus. "Such acts are grave violation human rights," the NHRC said, taking suo motu cognisance of the incident.

"The incident has raised the issue of declining public confidence in the law and order machinery in the city, especially, in its capacity to ensure safety of women as a number of such incidents have been reported in the National Capital in the recent past," it said.