Enigma of Capital Punishment in Rape Cases: A Socio-Legal Approach


There can be no offence than that of rape which attacks on the dignity and sanctity of womanhood especially in countries like India where woman is treated as goddess under Hinduism. It is needless to argue that the offence committed against woman is increasing on daily basis and the numbers available on government records does not provide the full pictorial representation of prevailing scenario under the societal influence and menace of underreporting of such cases. Every offence of rape is the representation of legislative and judicial inefficiency which fails to provide justice to the vulnerable group of the society, that is; woman. But, question arises that whether increasing the severity of punishment is enough to address the plethora of issues coupled in rape cases? Or, there is systematic failure of existing legal framework? Thus, the present paper focuses on how “severity” of punishment is not an answer to the questions which arises due to social, economic, and politico-legal structure that stigmatizes the rape victims as a result of which “justice” becomes “utopian dream” for the victims of rape cases. Furthermore, the paper will also highlight on the point that “just because someone stumbles and loses their way, does not mean they are lost forever,” thus, the focus of legislatures and society at large must be directed towards addressing the core issues pertaining to implementation aspect of existing legal safeguards to the rape victims, and changing the perception of society which is deeply engraved in aggressive male chauvinism, instead of imposing capital punishment in mechanical fashion to satiate general public opinion for political purposes.               

Keywords: Rape, Capital Punishment, Consent, Reform, Deterrence

Kumar Aditya
School of Law, Bennett University


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