At a time when the country and the national capital are witnessing a spurt in sexual offences against minors, the the Supreme Court on Monday took a stern view of the crime, saying those who sexually assaulted minors were nothing but animals and deserved no leniency.
The remarks came from a bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy, which upheld the conviction and 10-year imprisonment awarded to 35-year-old Kuldip Kumar who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in 2010 in a village in Himachal Pradesh.
Dismissing the appeal, the bench said, “It is an unpardonable act. Those persons are animals who sexually assault minor girls. They deserve no leniency from courts.”
Sexual assault of three minors — aged between two years and five years — in the last two weeks in Delhi had created outrage among citizens. It saw Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal sharpening his attack on Delhi Police and reiterating Aam Aadmi Party’s demand for transferring control of Delhi Police from the Centre to the Delhi government.
“Repeated rape of minors is shameful and worrying,” Kejriwal had written on Twitter, blaming PM Narendra Modi and lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung for failing to protect women and girls. “Delhi Police has completely failed to provide safety,” he had written.
Kuldip Kumar’s appeal against the Himachal Pradesh HC’s decision to confirm the conviction and sentence was filed in the SC through the legal aid services as he is poor.
Appearing through the legal aid services for Kumar, senior advocate V Mohana attempted to punch holes in the prosecution story by alleging that the girl and her mother had lodged an FIR three days after the incident and the original FIR mentioned the offence relating to outraging the modesty of a woman and not rape. The police, after probe, had filed a charge sheet leveling rape charges against the accused.
The prosecution had pointed out that on the day of the incident, the girl had immediately reported the assault by Kumar to her mother. She and her mother had visited the panchayat member who advised them to lodge a complaint. As the girl’s father had gone out of the village and returned only two days later, the complaint with the police was lodged after two days. Mohana also attempted to rely on the medical evidence saying it did not conclusively prove that the minor was raped. But the bench said the medical evidence did reveal that there was sexual assault.
SOURCE: TIMES OF INDIA