The Constitutional Promise of Justice and Dignity | Wed 16 Dec| 5:30pm| Rm 16, St. Aloysius
— Three Years Since Nirbhaya
When: 16th December, 2015, 5:30 pm
Where: Room 12, St. Aloysius Degree College, Assaye Rd, Cox Town, Bengaluru
December 16, 2015 marks the third anniversary of the brutal rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi which triggered both national and international outrage. Among the ways the Indian state sought to respond to this terrible crime was to set up the Verma Committee which came up with a range of far reaching reccomendations to both prevent as well as punish the crime of rape. The Verma Committee choose to see rape as a constitutional violation of the right to live with dignity as well as the right to bodily integrity. This placed the issue of rape as one demanding not only a criminal law response, but really a far reaching acknowledgement of the Constiitutional responsibilities of the state.
However these visionary reccomendations were themselves implemented in an attenuated form through the amendments in the Indian Penal Code as well as the enactment of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The period since the brutal crime witnessed an involved and intense debate on whether the crime of rape could be prevented by sending across a message of zero tolerance for rape by instituting the death penalty for rape and by ensuring that even juveniles who commit the crime of rape face the harshest penalties.
Three years down the line, its time to evaluate the successes and failures of the movement against rape, by intensively examining the legal changes carried out in its constitutional dimension, looking at ways of tackling the crime of rape as well as examining the notion that harsh punishment is the way to prevent rape.
The Forum for Popularizing the Constitution believes that we must integrate a constitutional perspective of the rights of women to life, dignity, freedom of movement and expression and we need to see the debates on law reform within this perspective.
To do so we will have a panel of speakers including legal experts, psychiatrists and womens rights activists who have engaged with this key question for many years.