Speedy trial in Chandigarh rape case welcomed by lawyers, activists

January 29th, 2009 - 5:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) Welcoming the speedy trial in the rape case of a German tourist in Chandigarh and sentencing the guilty to life terms, activists, lawyers and women from all walks of life said that such judgements should set a precedent for other courts.”There are two very important factors in the Chandigarh judgement. One, all the five guilty men were identified and punished, and second, the judge set an example that hearing the trial of a case every day can ensure speedy justice, even in the absence of fast track courts - which we have been asking for,” Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research and the NGO Women Power Connect, told IANS.

“This judgement further stresses the importance of taking up cases of rape as a priority because of the sheer torture that a victim undergoes long after the incident has occurred,” she added.

A Chandigarh city court sentenced five Haryana men to life imprisonment Wednesday after finding them guilty of the abduction and gang rape of a German tourist in September last year - concluding the trial in record time.

The court held a daily trial of the high-profile case from Jan 16 and took only eight working days to convict them.

Law student Manya Das said that such cases make her feel vindicated.

“In my course we keep reading case studies of rape, and I just can’t understand the psyche of such culprits. I mean what sadistic pleasure can any human being draw by torturing a helpless woman? I am so glad that the Chandigarh case reached its logical conclusion. I can’t wait to finish my studies and go out there to help all such women to get justice,” Das said.

Raveena Sharma, who works with an NGO helping destitute women, said although she is happy the German tourist got justice, there are hundreds of women from the lower economic strata who get harassed every single day, but their cases go unnoticed.

“You have to understand that a rape victim is not just abused physically but also mentally. She is frightened and vulnerable. And in that frame of mind, when she is made to go through all the gory details of her torture again and again in front of the police and others, it’s like re-living that experience.

“I am really glad that the German tourist got her justice but I hope that fast track courts especially for rape cases are being set up here soon. There are hundreds of rape victims, especially from the lower strata of society, waiting for justice. They don’t get as much media attention as probably the Chandigarh case got, but the pain that they go through is the same as hers,” Sharma said.

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