Supreme Court directs subordinate courts to treat rape convicts firmly

December 5th, 2007 - 5:40 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Dec 5 (ANI): Expressing concern over increasing in number of cases of sexual assault on women, the Supreme Court has ordered all the trial and High Courts across the country to treat rape convicts with a heavy hand.
Judges who bear the sword of justice should not hesitate to use that sword with the utmost severity, to the full and to the end if the gravity of the offence so demand, a Bench of Justices C. K. Thakker and Altamas Kabir said.
The direction was given after the apex court observed earlier judgements.
Babulal of Daulatpur village in Madhya Pradesh was sentenced to seven year of imprisonment by the trial court for raping a married woman. But on an appeal, the Madhya Pradesh High Court reduced the sentence to two months and three days. The State preferred the present appeal in the apex court against that judgment.
The apex court underlined the need for trial courts and High Courts to follow the principle that the punishment awarded by them in criminal cases should be in proportion to the crime committed by the accused. Writing the judgment, Justice Thakker said that sexual violence apart from being a dehumanising act is also an unlawful intrusion of the right to privacy and sanctity of a female.
It is a serious blow to female supreme honour and offends her self-esteem and dignity. It degrades and humiliates the victim and leaves behind a traumatic experience, he added.
The courts are, therefore, expected to try and decide cases of sexual crime against women with utmost sensitivity.
Such cases need to be dealt with sternly and severely. A socially sensitised Judge is a better armour in cases of crime against women than long clauses of penal provisions, containing complex exceptions and complicated provisos, the Bench said.
Once a person is convicted for an offence of rape, he should be treated with a heavy hand, the Bench later added. (ANI)

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