Delhi court for ‘castration’ as rape punishment

New Delhi: Expressing concern over the spurt in rape and sexual abuse cases in Delhi, a local court on Saturday said that lawmakers should explore possibility of permitting imposition of alternative sentences like surgical or chemical castration in such cases.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau, while sentencing a youth to ten years jail for raping her minor stepdaughter, said that alternative punishment for offence of rape should be there as it is the "crying need of the hour."

"This is a crime which requires to be addressed differently and a full public debate, with regard to imposition of castration (both surgical and chemical) as an alternative punishment for the offence of rape and molestation, is the crying need of the hour," the court said.

The court said that the Indian lawmakers should take this issue seriously as such a law is existing in many developed countries like USA, UK, Germany and others.

"Ironically, the Indian legislatures are yet to take notice of this alarming situation and address the issue with all seriousness by exploring the possibility of permitting the imposition of alternative sentences of surgical castration or chemical castration in cases involving rape of minors, serial offenders ...or as a condition for probation, or as an alternative sentence in case of Plea Bargaining," it said.

"In my view it is time that we as a Civil Society stand up and also think of a law similar to the one existing in many developed countries providing for surgical and chemical castrations," it added.

Chemical castration is administration of medication designed to reduce libido and sexual activity, usually in the hope of preventing rapists, child molesters and other sex offenders from repeating their crimes.

In surgical castration, the testes or ovaries are removed through an incision in the body.

The ASJ said, "although chemical castration is not the perfect solution to inhibit child molestation, it certainly discourages sexual assault better than incarceration."

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on convict Dinesh Yadav, 35, a labourer by profession, who raped her 15-year old step-daughter.

The victim's mother had remarried as her first husband died. The victim was residing with her maternal grandmother but later started residing with her mother and Dinesh.

The court noted that the convict had been raping her step-daughter for over four years.

The victim complained to her mother about it but as her mother protested, Dinesh assaulted her. Out of frustration and being fed-up, victim's mother left the house.

Dinesh also went away leaving his five children and her step-daughter alone.

The prosecution said that on the intervening night of June 12/13, 2009, Dinesh suddenly returned home and while the victim was going back to sleep, he tried to assault her, on which she raised alarm and the neighbours came there. Dinesh ran away from the spot.

The victim reported the matter to the police and specifically said that her stepfather had committed rape upon her three-four times.

The victim's mother was also made an accused in the case but the girl had stated before the court that whenever her mother used to protest, she was beaten up and physically abused.

"Rape is a growing menace which the administration is finding hard to tackle. Even stringent punishments so prescribed under the law do not appear to be having any deterrence," the court said.

It added that in many developed countries, death penalty applies in cases of aggravated rape indicating the severity with which this crime has been viewed worldwide.

"The convict in the present case represents the depravity and abysmal depth to which a man can go. For here is a case where the convict does not spare his own daughter and beats and batters his wife when she wants to come to her rescue. If this is not the case for which the highest punishment is called for then there can be no other case worse than this," the ASJ said.

The court directed that the copy of the order be sent to the Secretary of Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India for information purposes.

It said that the right activists may raise arguments on this order.

"I am not oblivious of the fact that arguments are bound to be raised against the above by some Right activists but that in my view would be sheer hypocrisy given the damage the rapist and sexual predators do to their victims," the court said.