Courts should not show "sympathy" towards rapists, the Delhi high court has said, cautioning that letting them off can encourage others to commit such offences.
Upholding the seven-year jail term to a man for abducting and raping a 14-year-old, justice PK Bhasin said, "If the courts start getting sympathetic towards persons who commit such serious offences and spoil the lives of young girls for the satisfaction of their sexual lust, more and more persons having such tendencies would get encouraged and more and more young girls would become their prey."
The court's observation came while dismissing an appeal filed by Razzi Ahmed against a trial court order convicting and jailing him for seven years in the 12-year-old case.
The court said "he should consider himself to be lucky not to have been awarded a longer period of stay in jail" and directed police to take Ahmed into custody so that he can serve the remaining sentence.
The convict was on bail during the pendency of his appeal in the high court.
On October 6, 2003, the trial court passed the order and rejected Ahmed's plea for lighter punishment on the ground that he was just 18-year-old in January 2001 when the incident had happened.
The court noted that the convict knew what he was doing and its serious impact on the girl and there was no justification for letting him off with lesser punishment.
"The appellant-convict certainly knew... those inhuman acts of his must have had a serious impact on her, physical as well as emotional, and such scars cannot get washed off throughout her life," the court said.
Dismissing the convict's argument that he is married and has four children, the court observed, "For his conviction for the offence of rape of a minor girl, he was awarded the minimum sentence of imprisonment provided by the legislature and he should consider himself to be lucky not to have been awarded a longer period of stay in jail.
"... I am not inclined to show any sympathy to the appellant-convict in the matter of punishment."
According to the prosecution, the girl's father had filed a complaint on January 3, 2001 that his daughter had not returned home from school.
The victim was later found with Ahmed in a place in Darbhanga in Bihar.
The court accepted the girl's testimony that Ahmed had forcibly taken her to Bihar at knife point.
The accused had also threatened to kill her and her brother if she did not accompany him.
He kept the girl in a hotel and raped her for many days, the prosecution said.
The court rejected Ahmed's argument that the girl was a consenting party and accepted the victim's denial saying she could not offer any resistance as Ahmed had extended threats to her.