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No leniency for those who ruin social fabric, says court on uncles convicted of 10-year-old’s rape

One of the two uncles had impregnated her, which is what had led to the case coming out on July 14.

punjab Updated: Nov 03, 2017 13:35 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
10 yearl old rape,Rape case,Chandigarh rape case
The judgment ‘scars will remain with the victim throughout her life’.

In a hard-hitting judgment comprising 32 pages in the case of a 10-year-old child raped by her maternal uncles, a special court in Chandigarh completed the trial in three and a half months and awarded life imprisonment to the two men on Thursday evening.

The court said the offence “does not call for any leniency; rather the gravity of offence calls for a severe punishment so that the facts act as a deterrent to other persons who ruin the fabric of the society, its peace and tranquillity”.

The court of additional district and sessions judge Poonam R Joshi specified that the sentence meant imprisonment for the remainder of the convicts’ lives, and also imposed a fine of Rs 3.05 lakh each. It further directed the state legal services authority to see if any more compensation may be provided to the victim.

The family has been provided Rs 1 lakh as relief under the Chandigarh Victim Assistance Scheme, 2012, so far, while a remaining Rs 9 lakh is part of a fixed deposit.One of the two uncles had impregnated her, which is what had led to the case coming out on July 14.

The court observed, “(A) small child has not only been raped but she has also been made to give birth to a small child who also has been left alone in this cruel world.”

The judgment said “such scars would remain with the victim throughout her life” and that the age of the convict was almost as much as that of the victim’s father. It further mentioned how “such an old man (men) did not even hesitate to continue the act with the small child whose age was to play and enjoy [and she] was burdened with pregnancy”.

The judgment also referred to rise in rape cases after 2011 as per the National Crime Records Bureau, adding that rape cases in India either do not get reported or do not reach a conclusive stage.

Power of words

The judge also emphasised how rape, derived from latin word ‘rapio’ meant violation of privacy of a woman or forcible seizure.

The court cites examples of Canada and several US and Australian states where the word has been abandoned in favour of others such as sexual intercourse and criminal sexual conduct. The judgment also highlighted government data that 53% of children in India face some form of sexual abuse.

The convicts in this case, according to the court, failed to rebut the resumption or show any reason or prejudice in the mind of the victim. Referring to the elder uncle whose DNA didn’t match with the newborn baby, the court observed that “merely because the accused had excluded as a biological father did not absolve him of the offences committed by him towards a child who specifically identified him” (sic) and that “no self-respecting woman would come in court and make such a statement against her honour”.

The court observed that “the tendency (of female) to conceal outrage at sexual aggression should not be overlooked by courts”.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 13:27 IST