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Analysis: The Unnao Case

Rape survivor burnt to death

Just a few days post the horrifying news of the brutal rape and murder of a Veterinarian, another terrifying news causing trauma was caught by the eyes of the public, in the northern Indian part of the state of Uttar Pradesh, a rape survivor was burnt while she was on her way to the court in Bareli where the proceedings were initiated regarding the FIR she filed against two men who raped her during the beginning of this year. The five people who set her on fire, out of which, two were the people she had accused of rape earlier fled before the police reached the spot.

Background of the case
On the 4th of June 2017, a 17-year old was gang-raped by a handful of men after baiting her so as to provide her with an employment if she moved to Kanpur. With the passage of time, she was raped on numerous of occasions by the driver, unknown individuals. On 20th June 2017, a First Information Report was filed under Section 363 and Section 366 of Indian Penal Code.

The victim was further sent for a medical examination and she recorded a statement before Judicial Magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and named the accused persons under the charge of abduction and gang rape. Subsequently, a FIR was enlisted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) in furtherance of which, the accused were sent to prison. The rape survivor attempted to kill herself in front of the residence of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on 8th April 2018 so as to register a complaint against the Member of Legislative Assembly.

Later, the father of the victim was also attempted to be framed by the Bhartiya Janata Party Member of the Legislative Assembly and his accomplices, for which a charge sheet was filed on 13th July 2018. The victim’s mother also moved the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Unnao in pursuance of registration of case under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The father of the victim who was allegedly framed by the accused and his accomplices, died after he was moved out of the jail, however, his complaint was not registered by the police.

Death by burning: Cruel form of murder?

Any act attempted or committed by any individual or a group of individuals which is essentially described as a heinous, horrifying, shocking crime pertains the cruelty in the minds of the offender. The rape survivor after being raped not once, not twice but for several times and that too by a numerous individual was burnt to death along with her aunts, her legal counsel while she was on her way in the path of securing justice.

What else defines the ambit of cruelty?

It is an inhuman act committed to give the evil acts of a society a face, a face to create awareness among the individuals of how horrifying, how unsafe the minds of people have become. The Unnao Rape Survivor burnt to death while she was struggling in the path of paving way to secure equality and safety, the very crucial and basic rights provided in the Constitution of India, which is hindered by the inhumane wants and desires of the evil men.

The case must be dealt with the Doctrine of Rarest of Rare. According to the Doctrine of Rarest of Rare, having regard to the provisions of laws and statutes throughout the territory of India, the court has described the “rarest of rare cases” as the proceedings in which punishing the accused with a life imprisonment would not render justice to the society, also, it would not be sufficiently desirable keeping in mind the cruelty of crime committed, the intensity of agony caused to the victim, the family of victim and the society as a whole.

It says that a death penalty should only be granted in the rarest of rare cases as explained above. The doctrine assists the court in clearing out ambiguity which rises when the courts intend to grant the highest punishment of land.

In the case of Bachchan Singh v. State of Punjab (1980 2 SCC 384), the court has upheld the constitutionality of this doctrine by laying down the principle that death punishment is to be granted as an alternative to the offence of murder, where the general punishment accordance with the law is life imprisonment.

The Supreme Court of India has taken the case suo moto in cognizance and is to deliver judgement on 16th December,2019. There have been such high-intensity acts of crime against women that it is difficult to now even presume as to how far the thought process of the offenders can reach, how far the criminal cruel minds of the offenders can go, the path of such crimes looks like a dead-end and now the tables have turned, it just looks like as to who all make it safely till the end, infinity being the measurement till which a man can go to fulfil his indefinite, indescribable needs and desires. The race is all about who wins it by making it safely to the finish point and not as to catching the few, handful of individuals with a criminal intent mind.

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