Jammu & Kashmir

Man gets 10-year jail term for sexually assaulting minor in Kupwara

Kupwara court complex.

Kupwara: Observing “when a woman is ravished, what is inflicted is not merely physical injury but the deep sense of some deathless shame”, Additional Sessions Court Handwara on Wednesday convicted an accused in a sexual assault case on a minor and sentenced him to ten years imprisonment besides levying on him a Rs.50,000 fine.

As per an order by Additional Sessions Judge, Handwara, Umi Kulsoom, the Learned Counsel for convict, Advocate Abdul Majeed, stated that the accused is a young boy of 26 years and is a poor person belonging to a humble background and family, the antecedents of the convict are clear as the convict is not a previous convict nor any criminal case is pending against him.

“The Ld. A.P.P, Tahseem Bashir Balti, stated that given THE facts and circumstances of the case, the convict be awarded maximum punishment.”

“Security of persons and property of the people is an essential function of the State which could be achieved through instrumentality of criminal law. Protection of society and stamping out criminal proclivity must be the object of law which must be achieved by imposing appropriate sentences.”

Therefore, in operating the sentencing system, law should adopt the corrective machinery or the deterrence based on factual matrix. The facts and given circumstances in each case, the nature of the crime, the manner in which it was planned and committed, the motive for commission of the crime, the conduct of the accused, the nature of weapons used and all other attending circumstances are relevant facts which would enter into the area of consideration.

Undue sympathy to impose inadequate sentences’ would do more harm to the justice system to undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law and society could not long endure under such serious threats. It is, therefore, the duty of every Court to award proper sentences’ having regard to the nature of the offence and the manner in which it was executed or committed etc, observed the Court.

The court said where a rape is committed on a child below sixteen years of age, the normal sentence which can be awarded is not less than 10 years rigorous imprisonment.

The court in exceptional circumstances considering the “special and adequate reasons” may sentence the convict for a period less than 10 years rigorous imprisonment.

The victim/prosecutrix was 13 years 4 months and 11 days of age at the time of commission of offence as per the School record. The Prosecutrix/Victim was a helpless child. The convict, who at the time of occurrence was the age of 18 years 3 months and 4 days, shattered the dignity of prosecutrix; she has to bear the burden of the act committed by the convict throughout her life, the court said.

The physical scar may have healed up, but the mental/emotional scar will always remain. When a woman is ravished, what is inflicted is not merely physical injury but the deep sense of some deathless shame. Child sexual abuse is a serious and heinous offence against the society and humanity. To show mercy in child sexual abuse case would be a travesty of justice. The socioeconomic status of the convict in child sexual abuse case is not relevant consideration in awarding punishment.

The convict shattered the basic human right of the victim to live with honour and dignity. Judicial response to human rights cannot be blunted by legal jugglery.

No special and adequate circumstances exist which may warrant the awarding of sentence less than ten years rigorous imprisonment to the convict, the order observed.

While pronouncing the quantum of punishment, the Court said that, “After considering the totality of facts, the convict is sentenced to ten (10) years rigorous imprisonment along with fine of Rs50,000 and in default of payment of fine, he shall go further six months for simple imprisonment and to pay a compensation of Rs50,000 to the victim and in default whereof to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of six months.

Period already undergone by the convict during trial shall be set off against the sentence awarded. Necessary warrant be drawn up and convict be committed to District Jail Kupwara, the court said. (GNS)

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