Any liberal attitude shown towards rape convicts — such as imposing meagre sentences or taking a sympathetic view due to their families — is against societal interest and counterproductive in the long run, a court said on Monday.
The Delhi court’s observations came while handing out life imprisonment to the five men convicted in the 2010 Dhaula Kuan gang-rape case.
While refusing to show leniency to the five convicts — Usman, Shamshad, Iqbal, Kamruddin and Shahid— additional sessions Judge Virender Bhat further said that “Rape …. affects the physique and psychology of the victim, but also has an impact upon the society as a whole.”
Such “intensely grave” and “odious crimes” were detrimental to society’s interests which must be protected by imposing a stern sentence, he added.
The court, apart from giving them life imprisonment for gangrape —the maximum sentence, also handed out seven years for kidnapping, and five years for the charge of criminal intimidation.
The court imposed an overall fine of Rs 2.5 lakh which is to be paid as compensation to the rape survivor who has to “live with the scar of rape throughout her life.”
The incident of rape further “shattered her life as well as her dreams in a violent manner. Her marriage prospects diminish to a large extent and she finds it unable to engage in a routine job which she may have been doing before the incident,” the court opined.
It also took into account that the woman had to leave her job in the Capital and move back to her hometown in Mizoram where she is working for a fraction of what she was making in Delhi.
The court also said that the society itself looks upon rape with utmost “indignation” and “abhorration” and expects the perpetrators to be dealt with sternly.
“The courts while sentencing the offender cannot ignore the impact of the crime upon the society and the society’s expectations upon the court in dealing with such criminals. In other words, imposition of sentence without considering its effect on the social order would be a futile exercise,” it said.