Coming straight to the key issue, it is a matter of great satisfaction to learn that the government is now all set to introduce a new law to guard against human trafficking. It has proposed a 10-year punishment for those engaging in “aggravated forms of trafficking” while seeking life imprisonment for repeat offenders. Trafficking any person just for the sake of earning extra cash and thus ruining the entire life of that person is a completely unpardonable offence which must invite the strictest of punishment. Even death penalty will not be too harsh and must be used as long as this death penalty itself is not abolished!
Let me also bring out here that this Bill proposes specifically that, “Whoever commits the offence of aggravated form of trafficking of a person shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 10 years, but which may extend to life imprisonment.” For repeat offenders, it suggests imprisonment for life “which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life”, apart from a fine that will not be less than Rs 2 lakh. I very strongly feel that for repeat offenders the punishment should be mandatory death penalty and fine should not be less than Rs five lakh.
It would certainly not amount to an exaggeration to say that the earlier this landmark proposed Bill is passed, the better it shall be in the interests of those who are trafficked and their families because it is they who are ultimately the worst affected in the whole process. Once this landmark Bill is finally approved by the Cabinet after giving it the requisite thoughtful consideration, it will then be tabled in Parliament where MPs of different parties would be free to give their valuable suggestions and then it will be referred to the Select Committee before being taken up for debate and getting it passed!
All said and done, human trafficking is the worst form of crime for which there can be no justification. Those indulging in it must be awarded not just life term but death penalty also especially repeated offenders! Only then will a right, strong and clear message go out to all those indulging in it that they will have to face either life term or death penalty and also would have to pay a very heavy penalty not less than Rs 5 lakh for daring to indulge in it!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.