TAMIL NADU

Counter-productive

Sir,— Mr. Advani's suggestion about making rape a capital offence is merely a na�ve, emotional, response to the issue which, if made into law, will only be counter-productive. It will raise the degree of proof required for conviction still higher, and thus will result in still fewer convictions (than the already scandalous and shameful 15 per cent or so).

Also it will be a virtual invitation to rapists to murder their victims, as doing so will not involve any additional punishment.

Norma Louis,

Mumbai

Sir,— The prevailing criminal justice system has numerous constraints and limitations in attending to crimes/violence against women and, therefore, concerted efforts for administering "restorative justice" that respects empathetic considerations and incorporates the principles of community-based moral education are called for.

A restorative justice system attempts at repairing the harm done to all who have been affected by offensive behaviour.

Crime control rests primarily with the social system rather than with the police and courts which can have only a marginal impact on the level of crime because it can only respond to crime after it occurs.

Death penalty for rapists only amounts to treating the symptom, rather than attempting to cure the disease.

K. John Mammen,

Thiruvananthapuram

Sir,— You are absolutely right in stating that the existing laws against rape, in fact, go against the victim. The ordeal a victim goes through during cross-examination is appalling.

While we should make sure that those guilty of this heinous crime are brought to book and we must also ensure that the victim is not harassed psychologically.

Vani Venkat,

Lucknow

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