No sympathy for child rapist, says judge, upholds jail

No sympathy for child rapist, says judge, upholds jail

CHENNAI: Two days after he referred a rape case for “mediated settlement”, drawing flak from jurists and activists, Justice P Devadass of the Madras high court has upheld the 10-year rigorous imprisonment awarded to a man found guilty of raping a four-year-old girl in Erode district.

Describing the offence as “beast behaviour”, Justice Devadass in his hard-hitting order on Wednesday said: “In these days, women and children are increasingly becoming targets of lust for men. It is a motiveless crime. It is beast behaviour. Such kind of criminal behaviour does not deserve sympathy. Such kind of vultures cannot be spared lightly.”

The judge confirmed the conviction of and refused to interfere with the 10-year sentence and Rs 1,000 fine imposed on the man 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,” the judge observed.

The judge, in an interim order on Monday, had permitted a man convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl in 2008 to attempt to reach a “compromise” with the survivor through “mediation”, saying even a rape case can be settled by “reconciliation”. The order was panned by jurists and activists, who said the alternative dispute resolution mechanism cannot be stretched to this extent.

In the latest case, Justice Devadass held that the sentence awarded to the man is proportionate to the offence established as against him. “There is no need to dilute the rigour of it,” he said.

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

Justice Devadass, rejecting the defence of previous enmity and argument the child had been used to settle scores over property dispute, said there was no need for a four-year-old to implicate the accused and speak falsehood against him. The girl’s evidence is “quite natural, unimpeachable and does not suffer from any doubt or infirmity or inherent improbability,” the judge said, and added her evidence had also been corroborated by other witnesses and medical and scientific evidence.

On its part, the prosecution said there was no strong reason or evidence to reject the child’s testimony. The additional public prosecutor also submitted that there was no acceptable reason to falsely implicate the accused in this case.


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