Act tough on rape of minors: SC to courts
Crime against women, especially rape cases against minor girls, need to be severely dealt with as “showing mercy” in such heinous cases would be a “travesty of justice,” said the SC.india Updated: Sep 16, 2007 02:46 IST
Crime against women, especially rape cases against minor girls, need to be severely dealt with as “showing mercy” in such heinous cases would be a “travesty of justice,” said the Supreme Court.
A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and P.P. Naolekar said: “Courts must hear the loud cry of justice by the society in cases of the heinous crime of rape on innocent helpless girls of tender years and respond by imposition of proper sentence.”
The bench reversed a Karnataka High Court order that had reduced the punishment given to a man accused of raping a 10-year-old-girl, from seven to three-and-half-years on the ground that the accused was just 18 and illiterate.
Holding the High Court’s judgement unsustainable in law, the apex court pulled up the trial court for imposing a lenient punishment of just seven years in the case where the victim was a minor. The judgement came on the appeal of the Karnataka government. But, since the State did not press for increasing the sentence to 10 years, the court limited its direction to reinstate the punishment imposed by the lower court.
The measure of punishment in a rape case cannot depend upon the social status of a victim or an accused, said the judges.