It has become an everyday thing to hear about rape and how sometimes, the victims are killed. But, when is justice served? Is it when the rapist is killed or when he appears before a court, where he is placed on trial and then judgment is served? In the wee hours of Friday morning, the four men who were accused raping 27-year-old Hyderabadi veterinarian Priyanka Reddy were encountered when they opened fire on the policemen while reenacting the scene. The Priyanka Reddy rape case shook the country the same way Nirbhaya’s case did seven years back. While a lot of people feel that justice has been served, some would have liked the traditional route of the law People are no longer immune to the fact that such horrific things are still happening and in some cases, rapists roam free. In this world where everything is instant, people want instant justice as well. They want a revamp of the age-old judicial system that prosecutes rapists instantly. We talk to people across the city and find out their reactions.
Pragna N, a database administrator feels that justice has been served. She says, “If it goes through our court system, it will take years before anything happens. Shooting them was the correct thing to do. If they are let loose in public, they are still a threat. Looking at what happened to these four guys, men will hopefully think twice before even attempting rape.”
Popular Sandalwood film director KM Chaitanya would like to look at this entire scenario in two ways. He says, “If we take the police explanation that the accused were about to escape and they had no choice but to shoot them dead, then we should accept what they did. This is a high profile case. These victims would have definitely been accompanied by several policemen. Wouldn’t it have been possible to neutralise at least one of them and produce them in court? We all feel outraged by this case. But this encounter sets a dangerous precedent. Now if we hail the police action in this case, what guarantee that more such encounters might not happen? And those might happen where the accused might only be suspects and not guilty. We cannot be a police state. And if this is justice, what about Khatua, Unnao, Chinmayanand and all those cases where the accused are roaming scot free? “
Dr. Sangeeta Amarnath, a sociologist feels this will be an eye-opener. She says, “This will be a huge deterrent for men thinking about raping a woman because now they know that action will be taken against them. Those who feel that they can get away scotfree will be careful. I think women will now feel more secure as the law is giving them a weapon to fight back. People will think twice before approaching a woman and it will definitely help women traveling at night. “
Pramila Nesargi, a lawyer feels that the entire law system needs a revamp. She says, “The irony in Nirbhaya’s case is that they had to wait seven years for justice. Whatever has happened is just right. The law is there to benefit people and if the existing law does no good then what’s the use? This is an eye-opener for the government and parliament as people are no longer interested in the sluggish way a trial is conducted. They need to think of amending the law. First thing is that bail should not be given. Rather, courts should not be allowed to reduce the sentence. A hostile witness should be prosecuted.”