People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 22

May 30, 2010


AIDWA Hails Ruchika Case Verdict


THE All India Democratic Women’s Association has welcomed the verdict in the Ruchika’s case, dismissing the appeal by the former Haryana DGP Mr Rathore and enhancing the sentence of six months. The AIDWA, however, felt that the enhancement of the sentence to one and a half years is not enough and Mr Rathore should have been awarded the maximum sentence under section 354 IPC, which is only two years.


In a statement issued from New Delhi on May 25, the AIDWA felt the award of one and a half years of imprisonment shows that the court does not view sexual assault as a serious crime even when it is committed against a minor by a person in an obvious position of authority. The court should have considered the fact that the child Ruchika was in a particularly vulnerable situation in the presence of an important police officer who took advantage of his position. The AIDWA said it has been consistently highlighting the need for a complete overhaul and reform of the law relating to sexual assault so that molestation can be redefined and harsher punishments can be awarded for it. Sexual assault should also be considered to be a more grievous crime when it is committed against minors. Ruchika’s case further highlights the deep infirmities in our criminal justice system which needs to be urgently addressed. The fact that no FIR was lodged for six years, and that Ruchika and her family were consistently harassed and false cases were lodged against them, shows how easy it is for those in power to manipulate the law. Deliberate action and inaction by the police should be made punishable with appropriately strong sentences and fines. Sensitisation of the judiciary to the manner in which women and girls experience sexual assaults is also important.


However, the AIDWA said, the verdict is important as it shows how ordinary men and women can fight for justice against all odds. The AIDWA hailed the courage of Ruchika’s family, and of her friend Aradhana and her family, in fighting the long and often bitter battle for justice. The organisation further demanded that charges should be filed in all the other cases against Mr Rathore under section 306 IPC for abetment to suicide etc expeditiously.