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Sahasranshu Mahapatra
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Not death but castration for rapists'

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In May 2011 Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau had suggested to explore the option of 'chemical castration' as a punitive measure for the child rapists. She observed this while delivering judgment in a case in Rohini court in Delhi where a man was accused of raping his minor step daughter for four years. Today after yet another brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus in south Delhi there is an outrage from streets to Parliament. In Parliament the members across party line have demanded death penalty for the rapists. But the big question is - will death penalty serve as a deterrent for those culprits who commit a heinous crime like rape? It could be, but it is bound to have further serious ramification for the victim. In Bachchan Singh case, the Supreme Court laid down the doctrine of 'rarest of rare' in....

Tuesday , June 08, 2010

Bhopal verdict: Where the buck stops

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A 26-year-long legal battle, 178 witnesses and 3,008 documents in a case of one of the worst industrial hazards in the history of the mankind and what comes in the name of judgement is an insult to the injury. Just two years of imprisonment and a fine of 1 lakh rupees for eight convicts in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy case, has called for agitations and animated debates on the TV channels. But in the light of the verdict though one can empathise with the sentiment prevailing outside the court room, the judgement can't be questioned. The judgment may appear to be 'too little, too late' but the CJM court in Bhopal can't be subjected to criticism. The judgment is bound to be delivered on the charges labelled. Once the charges are proved according to the sections of the statutory provisions, sentence is expected accordingly. Here the charges....

Monday , May 25, 2009

Absolute Power...

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In the run up to General Election 2009, on March 7, when BJD severed an 11-year-old alliance with BJP there were many raised eyebrows, not only in Bhubaneswar, but also in Delhi. Two months later the election results on May 16 proved the apprehensions of many political pundits wrong. BJD made a clean sweep in Orissa with 103 seats and Naveen Patnaik was ready for a third successive term as Chief Minister - a feat not achieved by even his father Biju Patnaik, the most popular chief minister of Orissa. Biju Patnaik came to power in 1990 winning 123 of 147 seats under the Janata Dal banner and the result in 2009 can perhaps said to be a repeat of that success of a non-Congress party in Orissa politics. The BJD's astounding performance can mainly be attributed to the towering personality of Naveen Patnaik. The Congress seems like....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Law should take its own course

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While the entire country was preparing to celebrate the festival of Light, Diwali, one person in posh Kadamkuan locality of Patna, Kundan Pratap Singh, was preparing to light the funeral pyre of his son. He was the unfortunate father of Rahul Raj, one who took hostage a BEST bus and was subsequently killed by police firing. But the insult to the injury for the father was that Rahul Raj was a Bihari first and a son or a brother later. Anybody killed by police action or mob violence in this country is first a Bihari, a Marathi, a Kashmiri, a Keralite or a Hindu, a Muslim or a Christian than being a son, a brother or a husband. Perhaps it is the destiny of the family members of all the victims of such actions that the deceased is identified with his regional, religious or political allegiance than the....

Monday , September 15, 2008

Blast crippled senses: Unanswered questions

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One friend had picked up an auto-rickshaw from the blast site on Barakhamba Road just ten minutes before the bomb went off. A cousin witnessed the dark smoke and sounds of the blast near Central Park being in his office in the inner circle of CP. Few friends were stranded at the Barakhamba and Rajiv Chowk metro stations. As the information was coming in on my mobile on that fateful Saturday evening of September 13, a feeling of anger, frustration and helplessness was gripping my senses amidst the hustle bustle of newsroom. I was also equally flooded with queries from many friends and family members. As I often used to be at the Central Park after a day of work, perhaps my friends were much worried about me. My usual answer was "nobody can avoid destiny". But in the newsroom I was thinking what if I were there....

Tuesday , September 02, 2008

Kandhamaal riots: Compulsions of Coalition Government

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The dull news hub, Odisha, has suddenly become a prime time grosser for the national news channels. The epicentre is Kandhamaal, a small district in the tribal belt of Odisha. This backward district of the country has drawn attention at national and international levels within less than ten months for the second time. The reason is the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmananda and the resultant anti-Christian riots. The soft hand dealing of the state government of these serious communal clashes shows how poor people can be pawned to get political equations right. As the situation is returning to normalcy the weeklong arson and violence by VHP against the tribal Christians points out the compulsions of a handicap government headed by Biju Janata Dal with support from the Bharatiya Janata Party. In the 147 member house BJP with 32 members is the junior partner to BJD, which has....


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