Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association vs. Union of India
The nutshell of the case: “Stringent punishment for culprits in cases of rape of girl child”
Facts: The Petitioner, Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association (SCWLA), being immensely sensitively ignited by the atrocious, inconceivable and brutal sexual offence where certain psychologically and possibly psychographically perverted culprits have not even spared 28 days old baby girl and also in certain situations have monstrously behaved with other small girls who come within two to ten years of age as if they are totally trivial commodities, has invoked the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for considering imposition of “chemical castration” as an additional punishment for such child abusers.
Courts neither create offences nor do they introduce or legislate punishments. It is the duty of the Legislature. In the case at hand, the Legislature has enacted the law and provided the punishment and, therefore, we cannot take recourse to the Vishaka principle, AIR 1997 SC 3011. There is no constitutional silence or abeyance. In the case at hand, we are concerned with the rape committed on a girl child. As has been urged before us that such crimes are rampant for unfathomable reasons and it is the obligation of the law and lawmakers to cultivate respect for the children and especially the girl children who are treated with such barbarity and savageness as indicated earlier. When a society moves in this way, there has to be instillation of fear of law and the punishment has to be definitive in a different way. In fact, this is a crime which is a shameless demonstration and total insensitive exposition of attitude to a victim. It is a gross violation of the social values and a failure of an individual. It is an act of extreme depravity. Therefore, the situation that has emerged compels one to rethink. There can be no doubt that a girl child is a minor but maybe a time has come where a distinction can be drawn between the girl children and the minor, maybe by fixing the upper limit at 10 for the girl children. There is need to take steps for stopping this kind of child abuse and hence, possibly there is a need for defining the term “child” in the context of rape and thereafter provide for more severe punishment in respect of the culprits who are involved in this type of crime. In the light of the said decision, we part with the suggestion with the fond hope that Parliament would respond to the agony of the collective for it really deserves consideration.