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'Rape in temple premises with 7-yr-old girl,' SC awards 30-year jail to man [Read Order]

By Jhanak Singh      27 days ago      0 Comments
Rape in temple premises with seven yr old girl  SC awards year jail to man

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has sent a man to 30 years for rape upon a seven-year-old girl in a temple premises in 2018, observing he remained unmindful of the holiness of the place in an unfortunate and barbaric act.

A bench of Justices C T Ravikumar and Rajesh Bindal ordered that the convict Bhaggi should not be released from jail before completion of actual sentence of 30 years.

The bench said there was a need for deterrence punishment in the case, rejecting the petitioner-convict's contention that the High Court recorded that the manner in which the offence  was committed was not barbaric and brutal.

The appellant also claimed since there was no criminal antecedent, the rigorous imprisonment for 20 years with a minimal fine will be the comeuppance.

"We have no hesitation to hold that the fact he had not done it brutally will not make its commission non-barbaric," the bench said.

The court, however, modified the Madhya Pradesh High Court's order which commuted the sentence from the capital punishment to life term under Section 376AB of the IPC.

"The position is that he used a lass aged 7 years to satisfy his lust. For that the petitioner-convict took the victim to a temple, unmindful of the holiness of the place disrobed her and himself and then committed the crime," the bench said.

The court said once the conviction is sustained under Section 376 AB, IPC, the fixed term punishment could not be for a period of less than 20 years.

"It is noted that if the victim is religious every visit to any temple may hark back to her the unfortunate, barbaric action to which she was subjected to. So also, the incident may haunt her and adversely impact in her future married life," the bench said.

In the case, the bench also said no separate sentences were imposed on the petitioner for the offence under Section 3/4 and 5(m)/6 of the POCSO Act by the trial court, evidently, only on the ground that capital sentence is imposed on the petitioner for the offence under Section 376 AB, IPC.

Under Section 376 AB, IPC when a sentence of imprisonment for a term not less than 20 years which may extend upto life imprisonment is imposed, the convict is also liable suffer a sentence of fine which shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim, the bench said, also imposing Rs one lakh the fine to be paid to the victim.


[Read Order]

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