Right precedent set but safety still a concern: Public opinion on Dec 16 verdict

While the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the death sentence in the December 16 gangrape case was widely hailed, people in the national capital said women safety continues to be a matter of concern.

PTI| Updated: May 05, 2017, 18:54 PM IST

New Delhi: While the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the death sentence in the December 16 gangrape case was widely hailed, people in the national capital said women safety continues to be a matter of concern.

Terming it to be an "exceptional judgement" for an "exceptional case", Suhil Bhatia, a housewife said, "Awarding them death penalty will of course reinforce people's faith in judiciary and set a right precedent but as a mother the question of my daughter's security still bothers me."

"This is just one case which fortunately drew much attention garnering mass sympathy and anguish which worked as a pressure for the police and the legal system. But there are so many cases where even chargesheets are not filed," she added.
 

Ruchika Sharma, an IT professional and mother of two daughters, said, "Rape is a very vague term in our country. There is a rape victim in every third house. Until the girl is brutally raped and murdered, the law also doesn't take its course. Stalking, eve-teasing, threatening and other such activities which amount to 'mental rape' don't make it to the court rooms."

However, Meenakshi, a resident of Safdarjung Enclave area said, the judgement makes her feel "more protective" now.

"I am very happy that she (the victim) finally got justice. But, it is redeeming for us too, as, we women also feel that it was justice for us also.

"The verdict will send out a very strong message as now people would know that committing such crimes could entail death penalty. They may even get away initially, but a sense of fear would be instilled in them that they may be caught eventually," she said.

Laxmi, 25, too was feeling emotional after learning about the Supreme Court verdict that said the nature and manner of the crime "devastated social trust", and fell in the 'rarest of rare' category warranting death penalty.

"After 2012 incident, I started being cautious. Sometimes, I would carry pepper spray or even a deodorant, just in case somebody attacked me, but fortunately it never happened.
"As far as the impact of the judgement is concerned, I don't think it will change things much, but yes it will be a deterrent for sure. Also, crime cases in urban areas are highlighted by the media but in tribal areas such incidents are not reported that much," she said.

The Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence awarded to the four convicts in the December 16, 2012 gangrape case.

The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gangraped, and brutally sexually assaulted by six men, including a juvenile, in a moving bus on December 16, 2012. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, to die by the roadside on the cold December night.

The woman died of grave intestinal injuries on December 29, 2012 at a Singapore hospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.