Four aspects have to be looked into when criminal justice is administered. 1. Punitive
PUNITIVE: Punitive implies punishment. When a judge holds a person guilty of crime and convicts him thereby sends him to prison for a specific term or makes him pay a fine, is a perfect example of punitive punishment.
RETRIBUTIVE: Retributive form of justice is a theory of justice which implies that punishment has to be proportionate to the crime that has been committed. An eye for an eye, limb for limb is barbaric examples of such justice.
REFORMATIVE: Reforming or changing the criminal’s mindset is the need of the hour. But unfortunately these so called reforms only takes place after the crime has been committed so that the offender doesn’t commit the mistake again.
DETERRENCE: Deterrence has a negative motivational influence. Precedence has to be set in order to deter or scare other people from committing the same crime.
Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code 1860, (IPC) defines rape and section 376 speaks of punishment for rape, which shall not be less than seven years and which can be extended to life imprisonment and shall also be liable to pay fine.
As I see it there is only punitive aspect of justice inscribed in these sections. I don’t support retributive form of justice. An eye for an eye or rape for a rape is not the solution. Reformative form of justice only takes place when punishment is inflicted on a person. That too it is without any guarantee that when he comes out of the prison he will not commit the same crime again. Most importantly, does the punishment so inflicted on the criminal deter other people from committing the same crime?
Today, when the whole country is agitated and protesting on the gang rape issue, the media and the press are still reporting rape cases happening in the other part of the country. Where is deterrence? Where is the fear of punishment? Where is the pang on the...
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