unacademy 02nd January 2019 Important Editorial Discussion(Mainstreaming Victims of Crimes) Presented By: Prabhakar Jha
When any crime occurs, inevitably, the unwanted-attention will always shift towards the survivor and not the perpetrator. But in doing so, society often engages in blaming the victim or the survivor. This phenomenon of victim blaming is seen worldwide. What is Victim Blaming? Victim blaming is when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them. Victim blaming occurs at a disproportionate rate in sexual assault, especially when compared to other crimes.
Why a legal definition of 'victim' is important? . Crimes are registered in the form of sections of the Indian Penal Code (in numbers) which do not mean anything to the victims of crime in terms of their impact. Crimes do not impact all victims in the same manner. There is no way to assess the impact suffered by a victim.
Efforts of Judiciary is a child or rape victim to maintain their privacy and dignity. investigation and trial is applicable to the accused as well as the victim and such a right to a victim is ' In Sakshi v. Union of India, the Supreme Court mandated 'in-camera' trials particularly when the victim In Nirmal Singh Kahlon v. the State of Punjab, the Apex Court observed that the right to a fair rovided under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Ergo, a victim of a crime is equally entitled to a air investigation In Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Subhra Chakraborty, the Supreme Court held that if the court trying an offense of rape has jurisdiction to award compensation at the final stage, the Court also has the right to award interim compensation Recently, the Supreme Court issued a slew of directions to protect the identity of victims of rape. In Nipun Saxena vs Union of India, the SC ordered, among other things, that "In cases where the victim is dead or of unsound mind the name of the victim or her identity should not be disclosed even under the authorization of the next of the kin, unless circumstances justifying the disclosure of her identity exist, which shall be decided by the competent authority, which at present is the Sessions Judge The UN 1985 Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power effectuated a movement for victim empowerment. That led to significant reforms in the criminal process. It enabled victims to have rights and reasonable protections, and assistance and participation in the system. It also made a powerful plea to provide a voice to the victims of crime during the trial stage In Mallikarjun Kodagil (Dead) v. State of Karnataka (2018), the Supreme Court stressed the need to have a vict m impact statement* "so that an appropriate punishment is awarded to the convict". This throws up many issues that are of interest to the victims of crimes.
While this practice is laudable, it causes a huge disadvantage to the victim of the crime as the trial court is under no legal obligation to hear the victim. As the victim is represented by a prosecutor, her concerns, as well as the impact of her victimisation, remain unexpressed. Shortcomings in Law As such 'Secondary victimization' also takes place when the agencies of the criminal justice system treat victims of crime unfavorably or marginalize them during the trial.
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