SRINAGAR: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh recently noted that violent crimes against women and children are on the rise, and therefore, courts should not show any leniency to persons booked for such crimes, Bar and Bench reported.
Justice Mohan Lal refused bail to a man who was imprisoned since June 2021 for raping his neighbour’s 10-year-old daughter. The Court stated that no woman would falsely accuse someone of raping her own underage daughter, putting her character at risk.
“Rape is the most hated crime in the society which leaves a scar upon the most cherished personality of a victim, and, therefore, no self-respecting woman would normally concoct a story of rape,” the order stated.
According to the Bench, being lenient in cases related to sexual offenses is not just undesirable but also contrary to the public interest.
“Courts cannot lose sight of the fact that crime of violence upon women and minor children are on increase and therefore the perpetrators of the crime must be dealt with iron hands…Showing leniency in such matters would be really a case of misplaced sympathy. The act of accused is not only shocking, but outrageous in contours. Granting of bail to him would lead to the danger of the course of justice being thwarted”
The judge opined that such a heinous act would leave an enduring mark on the victim’s dignity, chastity, honour, and reputation in society, and if the accused were granted bail, it would shake the confidence of the people at large.
The victim was raped by the accused while she was collecting water from a tap in her neighbourhood, and he threatened her not to disclose the incident to anyone. Nevertheless, a week after the incident, she informed her parents of her ordeal, and as a result, the accused was arrested and charged under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) Act. The accused claimed that he was falsely accused by the victim’s family because the two families were at odds over a civil matter involving the passage outside their homes.
The Court stated that rape permanently scars a woman’s most treasured possession and has a significant psychological impact on the victim and her family. “The prosecutrix would not have concocted a rape story against the accused to falsely implicate him by putting her honour, character, reputation, and future marriage prospects on the line in society,” the judge said. In its order, the Court observed that the crimes alleged against the accused would result in a sentence of imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life or a minimum of 20 years in prison.
“The more severe the punishment, the greater the likelihood that the accused will abscond or flee from justice if released on bail. There is a risk that he will abscond or flee during the trial if granted bail,” the Court stated while denying bail to the accused.