Punishment for rape not to depend on status: HC
The punishment for rape must depend on the conduct of accused, the state and age of victim and the gravity of the criminal act, and not on the social status of the offender, the Rajasthan High Court has ruled.
While deciding a criminal appeal under provisions of the CrPC, Justice RP Vyas of the High Court denied reduction in sentence of a lower court.
Vyas observed that the measure of punishment for rape could not depend upon the social status of the victim or the accused.
"It must depend upon the conduct of the accused, the state and age of the sexually assaulted female and the gravity of the criminal act," the court said.
An appeal had been filed before the High Court by accused Mahaveer and Balveer, who were involved in the gangrape of a 25-year-old married woman.
The accused had challenged the judgment of Additional Session Judge, Nohar (Hanumangarh district), on the basis that they were prestigious people and their children were about to get married.
The accused said that they were the sole earning members of their families, besides contending that the victim had lodged an FIR two days later.
The lower court had sentenced them to ten years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 each.
"Crimes of violence upon women need to be severely dealt with. The socio-economic status, religion, race, caste or creeds of the accused or the victim are irrelevant considerations in sentencing policy," the High Court held.