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Nikam against death for rapists

mumbai Updated: Jan 13, 2013 00:54 IST
Ujjwal Nikam

Amidst raging debate across the country over tough anti-rape laws, including capital punishment for rapists, lawyer Ujjwal Nikam has said the death penalty is not the ultimate solution to curb such cases and suggested a longer jail term.

Even though there was nationwide outcry over last month’s gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi and the subsequent demand to send the accused to the gallows, the death penalty is not the right punishment in such cases, said Ujjwal Nikam, who has been special public prosecutor in several high-profile cases, including 26/11.

Elaborating, he said the provision of the death sentence may prompt the rapists to kill the victim. Hence, the death penalty was not the solution in such crimes.

Increase in jail term to 25 years or till death should serve the purpose, Nikam said.

Police should be sensitised about handling cases related to crime against women, he said.

Generally, there is no eyewitness in the cases of sexual assault. Hence, the police investigation and trial take place based on the version given by the victim.

This brings limitations on legal provisions, Nikam said. He suggested that evidence in rape cases be recorded through video conferencing.