Apex court cancels bail of British journalist’s rapist (Lead)

January 16th, 2009 - 8:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday ordered the immediate arrest of an Udaipur hotel owner who got bail within three months of being convicted to life term for raping a British journalist in December 2007.Judges Markandey Katju and V.S. Sirpurkar cancelled the bail of 32-year-old Prabhat Singh, owner of Pardesi Guest House, saying that the Rajasthan High Court was “not at all justified” in suspending the sentence.

The bench said Singh should “be arrested forthwith”.

The bench scrapped the high court order, granting bail to Singh, on a plea by the 40-year-old victim who flew from London to challenge the suspension of her rapist’s sentence by the court’s Jodhpur bench.

Relieved by the apex court’s order, the Briton, who did not want to be named, thanked the Indian judiciary. “I have great faith in the Indian judicial system. The courts of law have brought him to justice,” she told IANS.

The woman was raped on the night of Dec 23-24, 2007 at the guest house where she had been staying since Dec 18.

In her statement to the police, the woman said she had asked Singh on the intercom to send her an extra blanket. He came with the blanket and barged into the room and raped her.

She was also subjected to unnatural sex by Singh, resulting in grievous injuries to her.

The woman lodged a criminal case with the help of the British high commission in New Delhi which she contacted for help Jan 5, 2008, about 10 days after the incident.

A fast track court in Udaipur held Singh guilty of sexual assault and imposed a slew of concurrent penalties on him including a life term, seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.35,000.

But in July 2008 the Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan High Court suspended Singh’s sentence on an appeal by him.

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