In the wake of controlling the surging rape incidents, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday approved, in principle, a law on chemical castration of rapists. However, the anti-rape law proposes the castration of the sex offender with the consent of the guilty.
Is the government cunningly trying to put the public outrage over the rape epidemic to bed? Looks like it took the easy way out by handing over the decision to the rapists themselves.
Emphasizing that the increasing sexual abuse cases were a serious matter, the prime minister said no civilized society tolerates such criminal acts. He said no delay would be tolerated, as “we need to ensure a safe environment for our citizens.”
The cabinet, in principle, approved the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Ordinance 2020 and Pakistan Penal Code (Amended) Ordinance 2020. The draft of the ordinance includes increasing women’s role in policing, fast-tracking rape cases, and witness protection.
As per the law minister, international law makes it compulsory to take the consent of the offender prior to castrating him. More so, if chemical castration is ordered without taking consent, the offender is likely to challenge this before the bench.
Ergo, casting doubt on whether this is even a law or a mere choice. Nonetheless, even if the rapist agrees to the castration, is that really the answer?
Is castration, a magic solution?
Of course not. Be it chemical or physical, castration does not guarantee a perpetual sexual dysfunctionality. Neither does it guarantee that the convict would never again commit the sexual offence.
All in all, chemical castration is not even permanent. It is generally considered reversible. Hence proving that castration might not be an effective action to prevent future rapes, even by the same rapist.
As a social malaise, rape cannot have a single mode of prevention, solution, or punishment. Rape is a cruelty that is so loathsome, so brutal, that no punishment can address it to anyone’s, especially the victim’s satisfaction.
Ironic how rapists have been given a ‘right’
Proposing a law that gives the offender the right to choose whether they want to get castrated or not is equivalent to no law. On top of it, why would one even want it done? A law is not a law when given a choice to follow it or not. Not following it simply makes one a lawbreaker. Period.
Meanwhile, the elephant in the room is the failure of the system to deliver justice. The main element of the crime is the lack of consent. Regardless, the ‘justice system’ allows the criminal to consent their punishment.
The law minister added if an offender does not agree to castration, he would be dealt with in accordance with the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Under the PPC, the court might award him a death sentence, life imprisonment, or a 25-year jail term.
However, it is up to the court to decide the punishment. The judge may order chemical castration or the punishment under the PPC. In addition to this, the court might as well order castration for a limited period or lifetime.
It is pertinent to mention that in many countries the offenders are dealt with in the same manner. Earlier, PM Imran in a statement said that he would like convicted rapists to be publicly executed or chemically castrated. Seems as though the public execution would have been the right choice.
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