Editorial

The state is now armed

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The Governor N. N. Vohra has finally approved the ordinance that approves death sentence to child rapists in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The ordinance under the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) 2018 and the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018 is now approved and the state can now act tough against those who are involved in heinous crimes like child rapes.

The act became a necessity after a surge in violence against women in general and sexual violence in particular in various parts of India, including the State of J&K. The need was felt to carry out certain amendments in the Criminal Laws (the Ranbir Penal Code, Samvat, 1989; the Code of Criminal Procedure, Samvat, 1989; and the Evidence Act, Samvat, 1977) on the analogy of   the amendments made in the Central Criminal Law in 2018.

The ordinance had to be put to approval as the state witnessed a grave crime against a child in Kathua area of Jammu. Not only did the perpetuators commit a heinous crime but they also tried to give a communal colour to it and thus wanted to escape from the dragnet of law by invoking communal passions among the people.

The ordinance which has now got the approval of the Governor also should now be put to use. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has a history of going soft on those criminals who have committed grave crimes and escaped the law owing to insufficient provisions in the law. Now that all eyes are set on the Kathua rape and murder case the state should set an example by punishing the guilty and announcing a harsh punishment for those who are behind this monstrous crime.

The case which is to be heard on a day to day basis should set an example for others as the judgment will act as a deterrent for others who have this mindset of committing grave crimes against children.

The state can now afford to move ahead with the Kathua case as the Supreme Court too has been tough against those who have tried to escape from the case as they have been found involved at various levels.

Just yesterday the apex court refused to change the investigating agency in the case as was requested by some who have already been booked in the case. The court also refused to give protection to the witnesses in the case.

Earlier this month, the SC had transferred the trial of the Kathua rape and murder case outside the state and the case is now being heard in the district and sessions court of Pathankot, Punjab.

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