Amid the unfortunate upward trend in rape cases across the country, President Ram Nath Kovind in a big statement has discouraged the right to review petitions for those under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012. In a public address in Mount Abu, President stated that child rapists do not 'need such a right,' and further accentuated on the significance of women's security.
The President said, "Women security is a serious matter. A lot has been done for this matter, and a lot is yet left to be done. Incidents of demonic attacks on women have shaken the conscience of the country. The responsibility to strengthen the sense of respect in men towards women lies in the hands of every parent, society, mine and yours."
"Some convicts have been given the right to file mercy petitions and I have said that this should be thought over. Rape convicts under POCSO Act should not have the right to file mercy petition. They don't need any such right. Parliament should review mercy petitions," President Ram Nath Kovind added.
President Ram Nath Kovind's statement comes at a time when all four accused in the Hyderabad rape and murder case were killed in an early morning encounter on Friday. Back in 2012, the country witnessed unprecedented protests in consequence to the Delhi case wherein a 23-year-old was brutally raped in a moving vehicle. Seven years later, in 2019, the demonstrators took the street to protest against the gang-rape and murder of a veterinary doctor by at least four truck drivers and workers on the highway a little away from a toll plaza in Hyderabad. A preliminary probe has stated that after raping her mercilessly, the rapists wrapped her in a blanket and set her ablaze.
In a tragic incidence, on December 5, a rape survivor in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao was set ablaze on Thursday by five persons. Of the five, Shivam and Shubham Trivedi are accused in the rape case. One of them was arrested and subsequently released on bail. The victim who was airlifted from Lucknow to the Safdarganj hospital is currently on ventilator support and said to be in a critical condition.
In August, a now-expelled BJP Uttar Pradesh MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and nine others were booked for murder by the CBI after the rape survivor and the advocate was injured when a truck hit their car in Rae Bareli. Her two aunts were killed in the accident. The rape survivor's family has alleged foul play. Former Union Minister Chinmayanand was sent to judicial custody and was booked under section 376C of the IPC, which is usually applied in cases where a person abuses his position to "induce or seduce" a woman under his charge to have "sexual intercourse not amounting to the offense of rape."