J-K: Sodomy accused gets 3 months’ jail term, legal experts express shock
The court found Showkat Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Wurpash in north-eastern district of Kashmir’s Ganderbal, guilty under section 377 of RPC (unnatural sexual offence).india Updated: Jun 16, 2017 11:13 IST
In a judgment which has raised eyebrows among the legal fraternity, a local court in Kashmir has given a three-month jail term to a man 12 years after he sodomised a five-year-old boy.
The court found Showkat Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Wurpash in north-eastern district of Kashmir’s Ganderbal, guilty under section 377 of RPC (unnatural sexual offence).
Legal experts, however, said that three months was too less a sentence for this heinous crime, the punishment for which can extend to 10 years in jail.
Senior advocate and general secretary Bar Association, Bashir Sidiq, said the quantum of sentence awarded by the court was very less. “It is a fit case for appeal. The state should file an appeal,” he said.
The judgment was announced last week by chief judicial magistrate Raja Mohammad Tasleem of Ganderbal court. Tasleem also imposed a fine of ₹8,000 on the accused, 75% of which has to be given to the victim.
The case dates back to 2005 when a resident of Ganderbal approached police that his minor son was sexually assaulted by his neighbour Bhat after he took away the boy to a garden on
May 15, 2005.
A police spokesman said during the investigation the accused was found involved in the crime following which the case was produced before the court on October 14, 2005.
According to the court judgment, Bhat was caught in the act by another neighbour and victim’s cousin who was working in his garden when he heard a noise.
The doctor, who had examined the boy, also deposed before court that the victim had blood stains on his ‘anal verge and buttocks’.
“On local examination of the victim, there was hematoma with laceration (cut or tear in skin) on left side of the anal verge. The witness being an expert has opined that examination was suggestive of sexual assault,” the CJM’s judgment says. The prosecution said they are planning to challenge the sentence.
Quoting the victim, the judgement says that he was caught by the accused and laid on ground and thereafter he does not know what happened to him.
The judgment quotes victim’s statement saying the “accused is innocent”. “When offence was committed upon him he was five years old and when his statement has been recorded he was almost 14 years old, he would have definitely made the statement keeping into account social and other reservations,” the judgment says.