New Delhi: The High Court of Karnataka has dismissed an appeal for leniency and upheld the sentence of rigorous imprisonment for seven years imposed on a convict accused of raping a 69-year-old woman.
A division bench of Justices B. Veerappa and E.S. Indiresh observed that the court cannot remain a mute spectator and allow injustice being done to women, generation after generation.
According to the bench, time warrants the courts to act as guardians and protect Dharma in order to protect the safety of women, as contemplated under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and deal with the violators including rapists sternly and severely with iron hands.
The court observed that a woman’s body is not a man’s plaything and he cannot take advantage of it in order to satisfy his lust, and the society will not tolerate such things anymore. Such attack by the accused, who was almost the age of the victim’s grandson, was that of a cruel animal.
The court noted that rape is violative of the victim’s fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and therefore, the Courts should deal with such cases sternly and severely. Sexual violence, apart from being a dehumanizing act, is an unlawful intrusion into the right of privacy and sanctity of a woman.
The court noted that such an act is a serious blow to the woman’s supreme honour and offends her self-esteem and dignity as well. It degrades and humiliates the victim and leaves behind a traumatic experience. A rapist not only causes physical injuries, but, leaves behind a scar on the most cherished position of a woman, i.e., her dignity, honour, reputation and chastity.
-India Legal Bureau