Sunday, December 3, 2023

Rape convict’s appeal for leniency rejected by Gauhati HC

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New Delhi: The Gauhati High Court has rejected an appeal for leniency filed on behalf of a person convicted for raping a 20-year-old girl.

Justice Rumi Kumari Phukan said that rape is a serious blow to a woman’s honour and a crime against the whole society. Nasiruddin Ali was convicted under section 376 of the IPC and the trial Court sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for a term of 9 years.

The girl worked in a private hospital as a daily wage earner. It was stated by the prosecution that at around 10 pm on November 26, 2009, the victim left the Digboi Charali market on foot to return home. When she reached the Digboi club, the accused forced her into the bathroom of a nearby swimming pool and raped her.

The accused argued before the court that it is not lawful to punish him on the basis of the sole testimony of the victim. Citing the evidence on record, the court said that the victim’s statement alone can be accepted as the actual statement of the incident. This is supported by the defence’s statement as well as of other evidence on record. It was also observed that the victim had no enmity / dispute with the accused person. There is also supporting evidence in this case.

The bench dismissed the appeal filed against the conviction saying:

“The sanctity of a woman is violated as soon as such a crime occurs. Whereas in a civilized society honour or prestige is a basic right, no member of society can conceive of the idea that he can create hollowness in honour of a woman. Such thinking is not only hopeless, but also malleable. This effort by a person to gain youthful excitement and momentary pleasure has a devastating effect on the victim’s entire body and mind.”

The court added that it should also be kept in mind that such crimes reduce a woman’s dignity and endanger her reputation. Courts are aware that rape is a violation of the fundamental right of the victim found under Article 21 of the constitution. 

The bench said that injury is not a mandatory condition to decide whether rape has been committed. The victim’s conduct is noteworthy, who immediately after the incident told the people around, police and officials of the Digboi club about the incident. The GD entry and the FIR were lodged the very next day without delay. At the same time, there was no difference in the statement of the victim.

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However, the court has reduced his sentence to seven years imprisonment considering the fact that he has been in jail since he was sentenced and he also has his family including 5 children.

Read the judgment here;


India Legal Bureau

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