NEW DELHI: After the Madras High Court recommended that lawmakers consider castration of sexual offenders against children, it’s the turn of women lawyers now who have moved the Supreme Court and filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for the same punishment for rapists.

The Court will hear on the plea on January 4 when it re-opens after the winter break. The PIL filed by the Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association (SCWLA) asked the centre to consider, “castration as an additional punishment for child sex abusers and child rapists”.

"Only castration can be an effective deterrent. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act brought in specially to combat such offences in 2012 has failed to prevent sexual assault on minors as the punishments provided therein are nothing different than general punishment provided in the Indian Penal Code," the plea filed by SCWLA General Secretary Prerna Kumari stated, according to media reports.

In October Justice N Kirubakaran of Madras High Court, while adjudicating on a case against a British national accused of violating a minor boy, had advocated the chemical castration of sexual offenders who had targeted children.

"Though the suggestion of castration looks barbaric, barbaric crimes should definitely attract barbaric models of punishment and the very thought of the punishment should deter the culprit from committing the offence," Justice Kirubakaran had said citing the spike in the offences against children from 38,172 to 89,423 between the years 2012-14.

Chemical castration includes the emasculation of the offenders by the use of pharmaceutical methods causing a stem in the production of testosterone, a significant male hormone responsible for masculinity. Castration can be done surgically also by the removal of both testicles.

The judge had given example of countries like Russia and Poland, and states like California and Florida, which have used the methods of castration in staunching the rise in crime against minors.

Speaking to The Citizen then, noted women right activist and Secretary of All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), Kavita Krishnan had called the proposed move reactionary and barbaric. She had called it so saying that most crimes against minors are done by father or other male relatives of the family, and the drastic penalty of castration may cause a spiraling silence in the family when women would want to protect the males from being subject to the agonizing ‘treatment’.

The Justice Verma committee, formed in the wake of 16 December rape case, too, had recommended against the procedure of castration and had opined that it “fails to treat the social foundations of rape.”

As it happens, the method of castration has not only been used to ground the monstrous paedophiles in the past but homosexuals as well, who were deemed just as menacing and unwanted in the society. The most famous victim of the treatment being Alan Turing, the father of the morse code.