The December 13 sexual assault incident in Delhi was not “unique”, but one among many, Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir said on Saturday.
“What happened on December 16 in Delhi was sad and bad and something extraordinary, but at the same time not unique. This was made into a kind of an iconic situation,” Kabir said at an event organized by the Calcutta High Court.
“The girl named Nirbhaya or Damini who died after the brutal attack on her was not an isolated incident,” he said.
“The next day, the newspaper headlines screamed in outrage against the incident. But at the same day, the news of gang-rape of a 10-year old Dalit and who was burnt subsequently was tucked away in the inside pages devoting only five to ten lines,” he said.
“The family of the Delhi gang-rape victim was given huge compensation by Governments and various bodies. But what happened to the little Dalit girl? Did her family get anything?” he wondered.
“We need to take these people by scruff of the neck to show that this is not the way to deal with woman,” the CJI said.
Kabir said that the society was in the habit of making icons.
“The main issue is the weird mindset which the men have towards the female sex,” Kabir said.
Assuring speedy justice to the perpetrators of the heinous act, Kabir said that he had asked the Chief Justice of Delhi high court to open a fast track court to start trial in the case.
“The case has been dealt on fast track basis to show that we also mean business,” he said.
Referring to the sixth accused who was a juvenile, Kabir said that there was demand from many that he be also tried in the same court.
“How is this possible? The accused is a juvenile and it is forbidden under Juvenile Justice (Act),” he observed.
“These are all knee-jerk reactions which have to go. Permanent solutions would have to be found,” he said.
He said that there were several legislations which were intended to protect women in the country like Protection Against Domestic Violence Act Section 498(A) and Hindu Marriage Act among others.
“But some of the legislations are misused like 498 (A),” he noted.
Kabir also called for a change in the mindset for a ushering in a long-term solution to these problems which the society was facing at large.
(With inputs from agencies)