Crime against Women
COURT – the Real and 'Kangaroo'
The media and women's rights activists have raised eyebrows over what they call a "Kangaroo court" having let off a man accused of molesting a woman with just an apology. As per a report in The Times of India February 11 (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-11/india/37038653_1_police-station-kangaroo-court-molester) a group of elders of the village held their 'court' on the premises of Hansi police station and decided to let off a "molester" after his merely offering an apology. Following the "Kangaroo court" verdict the alleged accused is reported to have "touched the feet" of the victim's grandfather "in full public view and apologized assuring that he would not repeat his act." The matter was not reported to the police.
The critics of the decision do have a point as to how the people could – or were allowed to – hold a 'court' within police station premises. The settlement arrived at also holds mirror to the fact that they have less faith in the process of investigation and ultimate justice. That is why they preferred a verdict of the elders.
But there is hardly a ground for raising eyebrows at the verdict of the elders, described as a "Kangaroo court" in the light of leniency and consideration the Supreme Court (SC) has shown to a convict Mohinder Singh guilty of a much more heinous a crime. He had been sentenced to death by the lower court as if felt it was the rarest of the rare cases. The history of the conduct of the condemned man speaks for itself. He committed the crime while on parole from jail where he was undergoing a 12-year sentence for raping his 12-year-old daughter. In January 2005, he came out on parole and killed his wife who was a witness to the rape, and the daughter he had raped.
But on appeal by the accused the SC on January 29, 2013 ruled that the man need not be sent to the gallows "as the crime did not fall under the rarest of rare cases". The SC further said that "his reformation is not foreclosed in this case." (http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/sc-commutes-death-sentence-of-man-to-life-imprisonment_825781.html)
The verdict of the so-called "Kangaroo court" too needs to be viewed in the same light as the "reformation" of accused before this assembly of elders too "is not foreclosed in this case." In the light of this verdict, how can howlers be raised for the nature of justice dispensed by the "Kangaroo court" in the instant case?