Rights of victim, offender must be considered equally: Delhi high court

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Equality before the law, also known as equality under the law, equality in the eyes of the law, or legal equality, is the principle under which all people are subject to the same laws of justice (due process) Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness, and justice. There is an old saying that ‘All are equal before the law.’ The author Anatole France said in 1894, “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread.” The belief in equality before the law is called legal egalitarianism. Here, in this case, Delhi high court has pronounced while sentencing three men in a robbery case.

Facts

A victim’s rights should be considered on a par with that of an offender while awarding punishment, a court has observed while sentencing three men in a robbery case.

The men robbed Hritvik and Saurabh of their phones, money and a wrist watch at knifepoint in December 2012. After robbing Hritvik, they targeted Saurabh who was also stabbed. He raised an alarm and two robbers were arrested on the spot.

When the victims resisted, the accused assaulted them and one of them stabbed Saurabh in his abdomen and injured his hand

Arguments

 “The court must not only keep in view the rights of the criminal but also the rights of the victim of the crime and the society at large while considering the imposition of appropriate punishment,” said additional sessions judge Sukhvinder Kaur. While Naresh, one of the convicts, was sent to jail for seven years, Pradeep and Gaurav were handed a term of five years each for robbing two persons at knifepoint.

The judge said “The convicts had committed two robberies on the same night at knife point resulting into injuries to the victims. I am of the considered view that the convicts do not deserve any leniency.”

The court relied on the testimonies of the victims, saying they remained “unequivocal”, “unambiguous” and “unchallenged” and that there was no reason to disbelief their version.

During the trial, the victims claimed innocence and said they were falsely implicated in the case.

Judgement

Additional sessions  Judge Sukhvinder Singh Kaur awarded seven years jail to convict Naresh and five years imprisonment each to Pradeep and Gaurav, saying they do not deserve any leniency.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 7000 each on the three Delhi residents who robbed two persons at knife point.

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