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Friday, 30 September 2011

Is this the Justice?

Vachathi verdict has demonstrated that the poor in India cannot hope for early relief, particularly when hit by the law enforcers. And with all those convicted most certainly readying appeals to the high court, the last word in this ugly case is still miles away. “The Vachathi verdict is raw proof that justice in India takes several years to reach the poor and downtrodden”, said advocate Bhavani Mohan, pointing out that 54 of the accused persons had died during the pendency of the case.

“It seems that the law will take its own cool time when it comes to a poor adivasi community. The mental agony and trauma underwent by the victims cannot be described. And these victims can never be comforted”, the rights lawyer said. Mr Mohan added that the 20- year- long wait was equal to a life term punishment that the victims were subjected to, while the culprits went about free.

The Vachatchi verdict would be “the first ever judgment on mass rapes by police officers prior to and after Indian independence.” NCW member Ms. Charu Wali Khanna said she was shocked to hear about the time span of the case.  “This 20 year old case shows that women always remain sufferers. These tribal women fought for two decades in the district court. Definitely the accused persons will now resort to an appeal and the case may go on further. This case demonstrates the abuse by the officials on helpless women,” she said.

On an optimistic note, PUCL state secretary S.Balamurugan said the verdict 'is a historical event' demonstrating the courage of the underprivileged and their hopes on judiciary and democracy.  “The victims were tired, yet would not give up the fight against injustice. These tribal women put up such a brave fight using democratic tools,” he said.


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