Friday, January 04, 2013

The Burden of Proof...

At this point, this late in the day, I am a little ashamed to say that I have not paid much attention to the Delhi Gang Rape case.

More so, because there really is nothing I can say about the entire sordid affair..

And also, being male, anything I say really has no meaning to what has happened, nor can I in any way even comprehend the brutality of the entire episode.

But now that I have decided to write on a daily basis, I decided to do a basic Google check on the entire affair.

And based on the aforementioned Google check, have come to the conclusion that there is no drop of sympathy and outrage that has not been oozed out at whatever forum there exists. Since the victim cannot be identified publicly, she has been given about 7 different names, by my count. I am not a sociologist by any means to have any treatise on why this happened, and what it means for society in general, and how it depicts how women are treated etc., so I really cannot comment, but everything (including the media coverage) just gave me the creeps and made me even more convinced that the criminals who did this should get the maximum possible sentence that a crime like this can get.

Other than one bit, which seemed a little odd to me.. And it is something that we seem to do, every time a sensational criminal case comes up in public hearing.

So, I am going to be asking this, and please don't kill me for asking this.

Why does the victim get full confidentiality, but the accused do not?? 

The case might be watertight, and DNA might prove it, and the fingerprints might exist, and there might be a dying declaration and all that.

But at the end of the day, the 5 men arrested are as yet accused, and not convicted of this crime. And here I know about how 30-year old Ram Singh, a bus driver, his brother Mukesh, a Pawan Gupta and a Vinay Sharma, did all this.. Not just that, I know that Ram Singh's mother says that if he did it, he should be hanged, his house where he lives with his parents in Delhi was shown on national TV, his wife died in 2010, and he once eloped with a girl. He was also thrashed by the inmates of Tihar Jail.

Rape is evil. We protect the victim's identity to avoid the victim from having to undergo further social stigma. However, we are accusing 5 men of having perpetrated this evil act, and have no qualms freely discussing their entire life history in public domain? What if it turns out that even 1 of them has been falsely accused and is acquitted? Who washes off this stigma off of that man? Will even a single one of all those protesting at Jantar Mantar and elsewhere asking for the 5 to be publicly hanged  come forward to offer such a man a livelihood?

Are they being flogged in public just because they cannot afford the PR campaign to defend themselves?

Or is it our CID / Adaalat viewing TV voyeurs who are just watching another show, where cases are cracked and justice is delivered inside 1 hour including commercial breaks? 

This has nothing to do with the attitude of men towards women in India, which is probably worthy of another post. My point is just that if we truly believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and that even 100 guilty parties can go free as long as an innocent is not falsely convicted, then the accused should have the same rights to confidentiality as the victim, as the repercussions of the accusations are probably longer lasting than the actual crime.

What am I missing?

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat  
(the burden of proof lies with who declares, not who denies)
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