Tuesday, August 27, 2013

SC warns courts against showing leniency towards rape convicts

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that compromise between rape survivor and rape convict cannot be a ground to reduce sentence of imprisonment.

Even offer of marriage by the accused to rape survivor cannot persuade courts to reduce sentence of rape convicts, the top court said.

The apex court said law permits the court to reduce sentence even in rape cases under exceptional circumstances but compromise between the assaulted woman and the rapist cannot be a ground for that exception.

The top court said allowing compromise between rape survivor and convict for reduction of sentence would allow the accused to exert every kind of pressure on the rape survivor to settle for a compromise.

Long delay in trial and the fact that rape survivor has settled in life were also no grounds to reduce sentence of rapists, the SC ruled.
Religion, caste or status of accused too should not make any difference to the case trial and imposition of sentence when convicted, the court said.
Justifying harsh punishment in rape cases, the court said rape is not only a physical and mental assault of a woman but also a crime against society requiring courts not to show leniency to rape convicts when it came to imposing sentence.

Warning the high courts and trial courts against leniency towards rape convicts, SC said orders imposing sentence less than prescribed or releasing accused on the grounds that period of sentence has already been undergone would reflect insensitivity of court towards rape survivor and society.

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