Because women’s rights are human rights
the promotion of SCs/STs in public services.
Instead, this demand needs conversion into a requirement that Parliament, and state legislatures, set aside a few working days in each session to debate and monitor measures assuring the collective and individual rights of human security for the girl child and all women.
For the moment, no more than a wise use of powers to proclaim an ordinance is required as demonstrative
of political will. Such a measure ought at least to achieve the following.
First, it should provide for fast-tracking of all pending rape trials. Second, life imprisonment with rigorous labour, and without parole or remission, should be the norm for rapists. Third, new offences must be declared for law enforcement officials who decline, delay, or doctor FIRs, and for public prosecutors who fail to perform their statutory duties with alacrity. Fourth, the right to immediate and long-run compensation, rehabilitation and restitution for violated women, their kin and survivors, and efficient legal aid and witness protection programmes should be legislated. Fifth, rape as a "crime against humanity" should now be proclaimed on the lines of the elements of crime defined in the statute of the International Criminal Court. Sixth, stringent offences against global sex tourism in India should be proclaimed.
Such measures will provide a roadmap for parliamentary consideration and public discussion; given Article 123's requirement of parliamentary approval within six weeks of the reassembly of Parliament, any further changes must remain time-bound.
An electoral law reform prohibiting the nomination of candidates against whom criminal charges have been judicially framed for rape or other acts of sex-based aggression remains imperative. The argument of "innocent until proved guilty" is impertinent here, because Article 51 A of the Constitution, which prescribes the fundamental duties of citizens, includes the duty to "renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women". How may any constitutionally sincere citizen take an oath to uphold the Constitution when judicially implicated for prima facie violation of his fundamental
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