Court concerned over increasing sexual abuse cases

May 1st, 2009 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) Expressing concern over increasing number of sexual abuse cases, the Delhi High Court Friday said absence of strict laws handicaps courts, resulting in easy acquittals or lower punishment to the accused.
Upholding the two years imprisonment to 54-year-old Tara Dutt, who was accused of sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl of his neighbourhood while her mother was away on work, Justice S. Muralidhar said the trial court was handicapped by the inadequacy of the law and had not been able to charge the accused with any graver offence than section 354 (assault) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

He said that in terms of law as it stands today, the offence attracts neither section 376 (rape) nor section 377 (unnatural offence) and the maximum sentence under section 354 is only two years.

“If the law commission’s report on sexual abuse formulated nine years back would have been implemented then we would have stricter laws and the accused could have faced deterrent punishment,” the judge noted, while dismissing Dutt’s appeal.

The case dates back to 1996 when Dutt sexually exploited the girl after luring her to his home. In 2005, a trial court sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment, which he challenged in the high court.

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