Remission and justice
Attempts to bypass established norms of justice as a result of pressure by vested interests is not a new development in India. But there is a limit to this. If India considers itself to be a nation to look up to, it needs to follow norms of justice. There is no doubt that the release of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case — which is a heinous crime — is a black mark. The development is bound to have a chilling effect on the minorities. The judiciary needs to send out a strong signal and uphold the values of justice.
Rohith Varon S.S.,
The Gujarat government’s decision in the context of a horrible crime is really astonishing and shocking. One can easily perceive the political connection in all this. The development will not only revive trauma for the survivor but also send out a very wrong message that would embolden elements to continue perpetrating horrific crimes.
What is distressing is the manner in which the convicts have been feted by heartless and hardcore elements (they include even women). One hopes that these shocking visuals do touch the conscience of the judiciary.
Tharcius S. Fernando,
The release of the convicts has shaken the confidence of the common citizen, especially victims and survivors of sexual assault crimes. It is obvious that what has happened was done against the rules put in place by the highest court. The ‘reception’ accorded to these criminals is an affront to all norms of decency and civilised behaviour. The judiciary must act immediately to set this wrong right lest people lose even their remaining sliver of hope in justice. Despondency among victims of crimes of hate and sexual violence will not add to India’s glory, but may lead to the emboldening of such criminals.
Some of the visuals were absolutely shocking — for instance, seeing a woman greeting some of the convicts with ritual reverence. One hopes that the Indian judicial system is active and not in a state of decline.
C. Sachidananda Narayanan.
Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu
The release of the convicts is not only numbing but also a setback for those involved in a long-drawn battle to secure justice. This was a horrific and brutal crime and the perpetrators should have been punished severely. To add insult to injury, the men were given a welcome. ‘New India’ cannot digest this remission.
Dr. Sunil Chopra,
It is dismaying to have those who were perpetrators of a terrible and dreadful crime to be released. Rather than sending out a clear signal of ensuring the safety of women, the opposite seems to have happened. This is only bound to encourage the perpetrators of heinous crimes.
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
This is a rude shock to the entire nation and a big blot on the government of the day. A celebration of the release of the convicts only shows that there is an element of goondaism. That the judiciary is mum is worrying for law-abiding citizens. God save India’s women and girls.
When the Prime Minister encourages the doing away of orthodox and demeaning views on women in society and the need to treat them with respect, the release of 11 convicts almost the very next day makes me wonder whether there is any humanity left. The precedent this will set is dangerous.
That such a thing has happened just after India has got a woman as its President indicates that politicians have no regard for the protection of women in the country. Such shocking political decisions make the common man lose faith in securing justice in a democracy.
B. Sundar Raman,