New Delhi: In a significant ruling in the criminal justice delivery system, the Supreme Court has held that the trial court should give the victims of an offence a hearing while awarding punishment to the accused charged of an offence.
Giving this ruling a bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that a considerable amount of progress has been achieved in giving life to the rights of victims of crime, despite the absence of a cohesive policy.
But, a lot more still needs to be done. Among the steps that need to be taken to provide meaningful rights to the victims of an offence, it is necessary to seriously consider giving a hearing to the victim while awarding the sentence to a convict. Justice Lokur said Parliament also has been proactive in recognising the rights of victims of an offence.
The rights of victims, and indeed victimology, is an evolving jurisprudence and it is more than appropriate to move forward in a positive direction, rather than stand still or worse, take a step backward.
A voice has been given to victims of crime by Parliament and the judiciary and that voice needs to be heard, and if not already heard, it needs to be raised to a higher decibel so that it is clearly heard.
Justice Deepak Gupta in a separate verdict while agreeing with Justice Lokur said the victim should seek permission in the high court for filing an appeal.