Have legal delays prompted a Delhi rape survivor to seek revenge?

Unfortunately, we live in a society where the wheels of justice often turn painfully slowly. The search for justice becomes an agonizing journey, especially for survivors of heinous crimes such as rape. When the accused is at large and exercises power to intimidate and threaten, the concept of justice seems elusive. Such was the case for a 24-year-old man accused of rape in Southeast Delhi in 2018, whose story took a tragic turn on April 21, 2024, when the survivor had to take matters into her own hands to secure justice for herself.

Frustrated with the lengthy legal process and reportedly facing threats from the suspect, the survivor and her family resorted to a drastic measure by taking matters into their own hands, resulting in the suspect being fatally stabbed. The suspect, a contract worker with the Delhi Jal Board, allegedly used his position to intimidate the victim, further aggravating her plight.

The excruciating wait for a resolution to her case, compounded by bureaucratic hurdles and endless delays within the legal system, pushed her to a breaking point. With each passing day, her fear grew, overshadowing any hope for closure or recovery. The system meant to protect her failed her time and time again, leaving her with no choice but to confront her alleged attacker on her terms.

Case details

Following the fatal altercation, four people, including the woman, were arrested in connection with the incident. A PCR call at 2.52am alerted authorities to the grim scene, which saw the victim’s body discovered in a pool of blood outside his home. Despite efforts to save him, he was declared dead on arrival at the AIIMS Trauma Centre.

The disturbing questions

While vigilante justice is unequivocally unacceptable, this tragic incident leads us to stark reflection on the state of our society. We live in a country where women continually struggle with safety issues, and the traumatic experience of a rape survivor seeking justice but facing delays and obstacles is a poignant reminder of the urgent need for introspection.

Where can a survivor turn when the institutions charged with delivering justice fail them? When the justice system’s indifference compounds the trauma of abuse, the survivor is confronted not only with the physical and emotional scars, but also with the crushing weight of societal stigma.

The story of this accused survivor speaks volumes about the state of justice and societal values. When the hands charged with delivering justice falter, survivors are faced with a poignant choice: endure the trauma and stigma in silence or take matters into their own hands, perpetuating a cycle of violence and retaliation .

As a society, we must face these uncomfortable truths and work toward a justice system that is swift, fair, and accessible to all, and ensures that survivors of heinous crimes find comfort and closure, not more despair.