Sunday, September 12, 2010

Poverty does not mitigate rape, says HC

Mumbai: Poverty can not be a reason to show leniency towards a rape-accused, Bombay High Court has said.
Under Section 376 of Indian Penal Code, minimum punishment for rape is seven years’s r i g o ro u s imprisonment, and a judge can give a lesser sentence for “adequate and special reasons”. But socio-economic status of accused is irrelevant in this regard, Justice A P Bhangale of Nagpur bench of high court said in a ruling last week. Satinath Raut, a labourer, was accused of raping a 22-year-old woman at his village Warthi, in Bhandara district. Raut entered the victim’s house when she was alone except for her 3-year-old daughter, and raped the woman at knife-point.

Sessions court in Bhandara awarded him seven years’ imprisonment in February 2007.
In the appeal before the high court, he pleaded that he had a large family comprising of five children and an ailing mother, therefore the sentence may be reduced. Sessions court could have been more lenient with him on this ground, his lawyer argued. But upholding the sentence, Justice Bhangale said in his judgement that “socio-economic status of the accused or his religion, caste, creed are irrelevant factors”, as per SC’s earlier rulings.
“His socio-economic status cannot constitute adequate and special reason. Punishment which is to be imposed upon the convict has to be proportionate to the crime committed. The court has to bear in mind the society’s cry for justice,” the judge said. PTI

No comments:

Post a Comment