Social impact of crimes against women call for exemplary treatment to accused: Bombay HCUpdated: Aug 09, 2020 00:25 IST
Social impact of any crime against women requires exemplary treatment to be meted out to the accused,the Bombay high court (HC) said on Friday, while refusing to let off a city resident who is sentenced for six years by a sessions court for attempting to murder his girlfriend, after she refused to marry him.
“We are conscious that social impact of the crimes against women cannot be lost sight of and per se require exemplary treatment,” said the bench of justice SS Shinde and justice MS Karnik, while rejecting the prayer of the convict, Arumugum Arundatiyar.
According to the prosecution, Arundatiyar and the woman were in a relationship for two years and he wanted to marry her. The woman, who worked as a babysitter, refused to marry him, as her family opposed their relationship. After she refused his proposal, Arundatiyar assaulted her twice.
On May 8, 2014, when the woman was returning home from work, the accused barged into the rickshaw in which she was seated and threatened the auto driver with a knife and pulled her out of the vehicle. Arundatiyar then attacked her with the knife in front of the people nearby. He stabbed her on her neck and also threatened to attack the eyewitnesses who tried to save her. He then fled the spot after a police vehicle reached there, but was arrested some time later.
After the sessions court convicted him for attempted murder of his girlfriend, Arundatiyar moved HC to appeal against the sentencing.
His counsel advocate Aniket Vagal primarily stressed before the HC that the injuries caused to the woman not grievous in nature, and the incident took place mainly because the victim refused to marry the convict after two years of their relationship.
Vagal also sought sympathy for his client on the ground that he was a young man, of about 25 years at the time of the incident, and came from a very poor background. Claiming that the sentence was grossly disproportionate to the crime, especially when the injuries were not grievous, he urged the court to let the convict off with six years, improving which he already served as an undertrial.
The HC, however, refused to show any undue sympathy for the convict. The bench said any liberal approach by imposing meager sentences or taking too sympathetic view of crimes against women will be result-wise counter-productive in the long run and against societal interests.
But the court found that life imprisonment was an excessive punishment for the crime, as the injuries inflicted on the woman were not life-threatening, and reduced the convict’s sentence to 10 years imprisonment.