New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) Maintaining the conviction of a man for raping a minor in a temple in Madhya Pradesh, the Supreme Court has sentenced him to 30 years rigorous imprisonment without remission.
“We have taken note of the hapless situation of the victim after being taken to a temple by the petitioner-convict. The evidence would reveal that unmindful of the holiness of the place he disrobed her and himself and raped her,” said a bench of Justices CT Ravikumar and Rajesh Bindal maintaining the conviction under Section 376 AB of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Saying that the convict was aged 40 years at the time of incident, the bench said that a fixed term of sentence of 30 years must be the modified sentence of imprisonment.
It also quantified the fine at Rs 1 lakh to be paid to the victim to meet her medical expenses and rehabilitation.
As per the FIR, the 7-year old girl was going to take mango and on the way, the accused met her and asked that he would give her “Namkeen”. The accused took her to the temple and violated her.
The trial court had awarded capital punishment to the accused but the same was not confirmed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court and it was commuted to imprisonment for life.
The appeal before the Supreme Court challenged the quantum of punishment awarded by the High Court when alternative punishment of rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than 20 years with fine was also possible.
In its impugned order, the High Court had observed that the offence committed was “not barbaric and brutal” saying that no external injury was found on neck, chick, chest, abdomen, thigh and outer part of the genital part of the victim.
At this, the Supreme Court said: “We are of the concerned view that when the words ‘barbaric’ and ‘brutal’ are used simultaneously they are not to take the character of synonym, but to take distinctive meanings…. it may be true to say that the petitioner-convict had committed the offence of rape brutally, but then, certainly his action was barbaric.”
“We have no hesitation to hold that the fact he had not done it brutally will not make its commission non-barbaric,” it added.