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The Supreme Court Laid Down The Factors To Be Considered While Giving The Punishment Of Life Imprisonment To An Accused

diya dhall ,
  13 October 2023       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court of India
Brief :

Citation :
Criminal Appeal No.3168 Of 2023

Case title:

State of Rajasthan v. Gautam s/o Mohanlal

Date of Order:

11th October, 2023

Bench:

Hon'ble Mr. Justice Abhay S. Oka

Hon'ble Mr. Justice Pankaj Mithal

Parties:

Petitioner: State of Rajasthan

Respondent: Gautam s/o Mohanlal

SUBJECT

The court held that a man found guilty of sexual assault of a child shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment of fourteen years with no remission being allowed.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS

Sections 363 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860- Punishment for kidnapping

Section 342 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860-Punishment for wrongful confinement

Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860- Punishment for rape

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860- Unnatural offences

OVERVIEW

  • As tenants, Rakesh and his wife Smt. Kajod were living in Chittar Lal's home in Suryanagar. The same home also housed Gautam Harizan as a tenant.
  • They each used to take care of their individual jobs. They were had a son and a daughter. The older child was a daughter who was five years old, and the younger was a son who was about two and a half. 
  • On August 5, 2014, Rakesh left the house for work at 6 a.m. as usual, and his wife left at around 9 or 10 a.m. after dropping the kids off with their aunt Lad Bai, who lived nearby.
  • The complainant's wife arrived home at 3:00 PM and discovered her daughter lying in a pool of blood. She had blood dripping from her privates.  
  • She informed her mother after being questioned that during the day, her uncle Gautam Harijan took her from her Mausi's home to his room. He took off her clothes and underwear there. There was bleeding as a result of something he did to her intimate areas. 
  • The accused was also the cause of the bite. She was throbbing with pain.
  • When he received the call from his wife, they discovered that Gautam Harijan had raped his daughter, leaving bloody marks on her clothing and bleeding from her private areas.

ISSUES RAISED

The issue in this case is regarding the enhancement of the sentence imposed on the accused.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT

  • The learned attorney representing the appellant, the State of Rajasthan, claims that the High Court showed the respondent unjustifiable and excessive indulgence.
  • The skilled attorney claims that the High Court has completely overlooked the fact that the victim girl was only five or six years old. 
  • He said that the High Court also disregarded Dr. Vinod Garg's and a gynaecologists’ testimony, who had examined the victim.  His argument is that granting tolerance only on the basis of the accused's youth will convey the incorrect messages. 

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS

  • The court held that for the offenses punishable by clauses (i) and (m) of subsection (2) of Section 376 of the IPC, the accused is given a fourteen-year term of rigorous imprisonment.
  • While serving the additional sentence, the accused shall not be eligible for remission.   The previously granted pardon will not be impacted
  • Regarding the sentence to be served if a fine is not paid, the Trial Court's directive was upheld.
  • The remaining money must be given to the victim as compensation if the accused has already paid the fine required by the Trial Court's ruling while keeping Rs. 5,000/­ for the State.
  • The victim must be immediately compensated under the applicable victim compensation system in accordance with her rights, if not already done so, the court ordered the secretary of the Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority.

CONCLUSION

The POCSO Act is a piece of legislation that guards minors against sexual assault, abuse, harassment, and pornography. Both boys and girls are covered by the Act, which is gender neutral. Any sort of penetrative or non-penetrative sexual contact with a child is considered a sexual assault under the Act1. Aggravated penetrative sexual assault is punishable by a minimum of 20 years in jail or by the death penalty, according to the Act. The Act also requires that cases be investigated and tried as soon as poss

 
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