Synopsis: Rape is a henious crime and constitutes a breach of the victim’s fundamental right found under Article 21 of the constitution.
The Gauhati High Court dismissed a leniency appeal filed on behalf of a person convicted for raping a 20-year-old girl.
Justice Rumi Kumari Phukan said that rape is a serious blow to the dignity of an individual, and a crime against society as a whole. Pursuant to section 376 of the IPC, Nasiruddin Ali was convicted and sentenced by the trial court to imprisonment for a period of 9 years.
The girl worked as a daily wage-earner in a private hospital. The prosecution alleged that the accused left Digboi Charali market on foot to return home at about 10 pm on November 26, 2009. When she entered the Digboi club the accused pushed her into a local swimming pool and raped her.
The accused has pleaded before the court that sentencing him on the grounds of the victim’s sole testimony is not lawful. Citing the reported facts, the court said the victim’s assertion alone should be recognised as the true declaration of the incident. This is confirmed by the argument of the defendant as well as other documented facts. It was also noticed that the survivor was not having any enmity/dispute with the accused person. There is also supporting evidence in this case.
The bench dismissed the appeal filed by the conviction, saying that the sanctity of a woman is violated as soon as such a crime occurs. Whereas in a civilized society honour or prestige is a basic right, no member of society can conceive of the idea that he can create hollowness in honour of a woman. Not only such thinking is hopeless, but malevolent too. A person’s effort to attain youthful excitement and momentary pleasure has a devastating effect over the whole body and mind of the victim.
The court added that it should also be remembered that such crimes are lowering the dignity of a woman and putting her reputation in danger. Courts are aware that rape constitutes a breach of the victim’s fundamental right found under Article 21 of the constitution.
The bench said that injury is not a mandatory condition to decide whether rape has been committed. The conduct of the victim is noteworthy, who told the people around, police and Digboi club officials about the incident soon after the incident. The access to the GD and the FIR was lodged without hesitation the very next day. There was no change in the victim’s argument, at the same time. However, the court has reduced his sentence to seven years imprisonment considering the fact that he has been in jail since he was sentenced and he also has his family including 5 children.