The Bombay High Court increased the sentence of a man from South Bombay, who was accused of raping an adolescent domestic help worker. The trial court delivered a guilty verdict 14 years ago for the same, but the Bombay High Court increased the sentence and the amount of the fine imposed on the accused.
A bench of Justice Sadhana Jadhav and Justice N J Jamadar directed the accused to pay a fine of Rs. 11 lakhs instead of the original amount of Rs. 10,000, which was imposed by the sessions court on the accused in 2006. The Bench said that the amount of 11 lakh rupees is the amount for the victim.
The Court observed that,
“Once the court finds the evidence of the victim to be trustworthy, conviction follows. The passage of time will not be a justifiable reason to take a lenient view. Courts can’t be oblivious of the impact of such a heinous offence.”
This conviction was challenged by the accused, to which the state responded that
“The meagre sentence that was fewer than seven years of rigorous punishment/imprisonment, the minimum under the law existing at the time, and sought its enhancement.”
The High Court said that the accused’s bail bond stood cancelled and directed him earlier this month to surrender by January 4’ 2021. The accused had been out on bail. It was noted by the High Court that in case of handing out of lesser punishment than the minimum, the trial court will have to come forth and explain themselves and give special reasons. In this case, the High Court found that the sessions judge that was assigned for the case had no special reasons for the less than the bare minimum punishment.
The accused is now a 47 year old man. Advocate Girish Kulkarni is the counsel, who has been representing him in the court, and his arguments state that there has been no plausible reason stated by the girl for the delay in the FIR that had been filed by her. To this argument, the Court said that the victim was almost kept in confinement and was not allowed to communicate with anyone.
What more reason does the counsel need for the said ‘delay’ in the lodging of the FIR?
The High Court held that false implication was a lame defence taken by the accused without any effort to probablise it.
“Rape amounts to a serious blow to the supreme honour and dignity of a woman. It is a violation of Human Rights” remarked the Court.
“It is not just a physical injury, but a serious injury to the womanhood of the victim of Rape.”
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