After suggesting mediation in rape case, Madras HC confirms 10-year jail term for rapist in another case

After suggesting mediation in rape case, Madras HC confirms 10-year jail term for rapist in another case

CHENNAI: Justice P Devadass of the Madras high court on Thursday upheld a 10-year jail term for a rapist of a minor girl, two days after he suggested a compromise and a mediated amicable settlement of another rape case.

READ ALSO: Madras HC allows rapist of a minor to ‘settle’ case by mediation

The convict in the in present case is a 25-year-old man who raped a four and a half years old girl in Erode district of Tamil Nadu.

Describing the offence as “beast behaviour,” Justice Devadass said: “In these days, increasingly women and children are becoming target of lust of men. It is a motiveless crime. It is a beast behaviour… Such kind of criminal behaviour does not deserve sympathy. Such kind of vultures cannot be spared lightly.”

He then confirmed conviction of the 25-year-old rapist — P Senthil Kumar — and also refused to interfere with the 10-year sentence and Rs 1,000 fine imposed on him by a sessions court in Erode in December 2010.

“In the administration of criminal justice, pitiable plight of the victims cannot be lost sight of. Trauma left on them will last long in their memory, and it will have psychological impact on their moral and physical activities. The painful event will refuse to fade away from their memory. The victim in a murder case dies once for all, but the victim in sexual violence case dies every day every minute,” observed Justice Devadass.

Holding that the sentence awarded to Senthil Kumar was proportionate to the offence established against him, the judge said, “There is no need to dilute the rigour of it.”

According to police, the child was just four and a half years old when the man, her neighbour, took her to his home and assaulted her. The issue came to light after she complained to her parents of pain on private parts. After medical examination confirmed sexual assault, they lodged complaint with police.

Justice Devadass, rejecting the defence of previous enmity and argument that the child had been used to settle scores over property dispute, said there was no need and courage for a girl aged four and a half years to implicate the accused and speak falsehood against him.

Her evidence “is quite natural, unimpeachable and does not suffer from any doubt or infirmity or inherent improbability,” the judge said, and added that her evidence had also been corroborated by other witnesses and medical and scientific evidence.

It may be recalled that Justice Devadass on Tuesday gave an opportunity to a man, who was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl and sentenced to seven years, to ‘settle’ the matter by mediation. The judge, holding that alternative dispute resolution such as mediation is now being used in criminal cases also, said: “In fact, even in Islam, Hinduism and Christianity, there are instances of solving the disputes in a non-belligerent manner. The result of it is very good because there is ‘no victor, no vanquished’.”

The judge’s suggestion invited widespread criticism, with several jurists and women’s rights activists wondering as to how the choice of a compromise could be given to an offender, whatever the facts of the case be.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/After-suggesting-mediation-in-rape-case-Madras-HC-confirms-10-year-jail-term-for-rapist-in-another-case/articleshow/47815346.cms

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