In a judgement that has sparked controversy, Justice N Kirubakaran of the Madras High Court on Friday suggested that castration should be an additional form of punishment for child rapists.
This suggestion came while Kirubakaran dismissed a petition filed by a British national, accused of sodomising a teenage boy, seeking to quash the proceedings against him in a lower court, reported The Hindu.
"Traditional laws are not stringent enough to yield any desired positive result. Suggestion of castration looks barbaric, but barbaric crimes should definitely attract barbaric model of punishment. Many may not agree with this. Still, everyone needs to understand the stark reality in society and appreciate the punishment suggested," Kirubakaran said, according to a report in The Times of India.
In fact, Kirubakaran also pointed out that the conviction rate in cases of sex offence against children was a mere 2.4 per cent; and crimes against children had increased by 400 per cent between 2008 and 2014.
"This court is sure that additional punishment of castration of child rapists would fetch magical results in preventing and containing child abuse."
The judge, who anticipated protests against his suggestion, warned, “Those activists should first exhibit sympathy with, and support to, the victims of such crimes by visiting and consoling them at the hour of crisis instead of having misplaced sympathy with the perpetrators under the usual banner of "human rights violation."
"They must remember that ‘human rights’ is not a term restricted to, and reserved only, for offenders," he said.
Happy about the Madras High Court judgement. "Human Rights" is not a term restricted to, and reserved only for offenders. (1/2)— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) October 26, 2015
Great Message from justice N. Kirubakaran, hon'ble judge of Madras High Court (2/2)— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) October 26, 2015
Last year, Justice Kirubakaran's suggestion had raised questions and created a controversy, when he had said that a pre-marital clinical examination for the bride and the groom should be made mandatory -- part of which would be to check potency and frigidity.
On Friday, this point was raised as the case before Kirubakaran concerned a British national, who had allegedly sodomised a 15-year-old boy. He had reportedly befriended the family under the pretense of offering quality education to him and had taken him to Delhi where he allegedly abused the Class 9 student, including several attempts at sexual intercourse. The accused then left for London.
The boy, with the help Justice and Care Organisation, filed a complaint, after which a case was registered against the British national.
The Judicial Magistrate took cognisance of the case in 2012, and after the filing of the final report, the accused moved the court seeking to quash the proceedings against him. A non-bailable warrant as well as a red-alert was issued against him.
The accused then contended that the notice was preventing him from coming to India to defend himself. The judge has now dismissed his plea to quash the proceedings against him, but has stayed the red corner notice so that he can come to India to appear before the court.
Meanwhile, the social media is taking Madras High Court and Justice Kirubakaran's suggestion with a pinch of salt.
With the topic trending on Twitter, most people seem to welcome the Madras HC's suggestion:
Madras High Court verdict on Castration will not only serve at huge deterrent but also reduce population of such Rapist scums.— Sanjay (@snjyd) October 26, 2015
Kudos to madras high court in suggesting castration of child molesters this should be applicable to all rapists— Ramaswami Madabhushi (@to_ramu) October 26, 2015
Salute Madras High court judgement ... what they said about Human Rights sympathisers is so true ... mis placed sympathy— The Voice (@mneo03) October 26, 2015
But there are many others who are skeptical about it -- raising points from the difference between justice and revenge, to somebody's wrongful conviction.
Dear Madras High Court...what if u wrongly convict a guy of child abuse...which u will...how do u propose to regrow his testicles? Any ideas— Mark Antony (@DMarcusAntonius) October 26, 2015
MADRAS HIGH COURT What do v want? Justice or REVENGE? What is d difference between crime and punishment if both are barbarous?— Vibhash Sureka (@SurekaVibhash) October 26, 2015