Child rape deserve no leniency: HC

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has upheld the conviction of and life sentence awarded to a man for raping a minor girl, saying “child rape is inexcusable” and “no leniency or mercy can be shown” to one who commits such a crime.

While upholding the March 2004 decision of a trial court to sentence the man to imprisonment for life, a bench of Justices S P Garg and C Hari Shankar observed that child rape was “an offence less of passion and more of power”.
The court said that while rape was an anathema, but when it was perpetrated on a minor, it showed the “depravity” ingrained in the psyche of the perpetrator and such persons did not deserve any leniency in law or the right to cohabit in society with others.

“Ecclesiastically as well as temporally, child rape is inexcusable. No leniency, or mercy, can be shown to the violator of the body of a child of tender years, who is yet to savour the first fragrance of adolescence.

“We find no reason, therefore, to interfere, far less differ, with the finding, of the Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ), that the appellant (Anil Mehto) was guilty of having committed rape on the prosecutrix and, subsequently, of having threatened her with dire consequences, in case she were to disclose the fact of commission of rape, on her, to anyone else,” the bench said.

The court refused to interfere with the life sentence awarded to the convict, saying “the perpetration of social order would necessarily require, therefore, the removal of such elements from the societal fabric, if the warp and weft thereof are to remain intact”.

The bench further said that “child rape was the ultimate indicator of the reality, often unnoticed, that rape is an offence less of passion and more of power”.

“Rape, of any kind and on anyone, is an anathema in a civilised society; when perpetrated on a young child, however, it betokens a depravity, in the perpetrator, which is ingrained in his psyche, and which altogether disentitles him from any leniency, in law, or the right to cohabit, in society, with his brother,” it added.

According to the prosecution, the incident occurred on the night of August 16, 2000, when Mehto raped the minor girl while her siblings and father were sleeping.

Father gets life term for raping, sodomising minor daughter

The Delhi High Court has upheld the life imprisonment awarded to a man for repeatedly raping and sodomising his nine-year-old daughter, saying instead of protecting her, he had indulged in a “dehumanising act”.

The division bench held that the man does not deserve any leniency as he has violated the privacy and sanctity of his own daughter, who was of a tender age.

The court, which relied on the testimony of the child, said no ulterior motive was assigned to the child witness to make a false statement against her father and it was not an easy task for her to implicate him for the heinous offence.

It said she did not dare to lodge any complaint against him for long and suffered in silence.

The bench dismissed the man’s appeal challenging his conviction and sentence, saying the trial court judgment was based on fair appreciation of evidence and warranted no intervention.

“Regarding sentence, the man does not deserve any leniency. Being the father of the child of tender age, it was his duty to secure her welfare and to protect her from the evil eyes of others. Contrary to that, he himself indulged in a dehumanising act and violated the privacy and sanctity of his own daughter. Sentence order needs no modification,” Justices S P Garg and C Hari Shankar said.

The child, who was ravished several times by her father when her mother was not at home, did not inform her mother as she was threatened by him.

Later, when the girl’s teacher noticed injury marks on her body and inquired about it, she came to know that she was being physically abused by her father.

A complaint was lodged by the child’s mother with the police in 2012 and he was sentenced to life term in 2013.

During the trial, the man had denied his complicity in the crime and pleaded false implication.

The high court, however, said the man had not divulged as to what had forced the girl and her mother to level serious allegations of sexual assault against him.

“In the absence of any prior dispute or quarrel in the family, the child was not expected to involve her own father to bring herself in disrepute. Her statement is consistent throughout and her evidence inspires complete confidence,” it said.

Source : PTI

Inadequate jail terms undermine public confidence in law: HC

Undue sympathy towards convicts by awarding inadequate jail term “undermines public confidence in efficacy of law”, the Delhi High Court has said while upholding a 10-year term awarded by a trial court to a man for raping and trying to kill his ex-employer’s daughter-in-law.

Dismissing the 45-year-old man’s plea for reduction of his punishment, Justice S P Garg said that awarding inadequate sentences is a “serious threat” society which it would not be able to endure.

“It is the duty of every court to award proper sentence having regard to the nature of the offence and the manner in which it was committed.

“Undue sympathy to impose inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice system to undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law and society could no longer endure under such serious threat,” the court said.

The trial court had awarded 10 years to the convict for the offence of rape and seven years for attempting to murder the victim, who had assisted him in getting a job and also used to teach his kids.

His conviction was affirmed by the high court after he gave up his challenge to the findings of the trial court.

He had, however, sought modification of his sentence on the ground that he has to support his family.

Rejecting his plea, the court said that the man had betrayed the trust of the victim and “exhibited animal instinct at the time of commission of the crime”.

“She was defiled for no fault of hers. The appellant (convict) had pre-planned to commit the crime. In the early hours of morning he had consumed liquor. He was well aware that the prosecutrix (victim) was alone at her residence.

“During the crime, he claimed that it was due to revenge against her father-in-law. Possibility of the appellant to be doing the horrible crime at someone’s behest cannot be ruled out,” the high court noted in its judgement.

It said the trial court’s sentence order was “based upon fair reasoning and no sound reasons exist to modify it”.

According to the prosecution, the convict had gained entry into the house on June 24, 2014, on the pretext to have water.

At the time he was under the influence of alcohol and he followed the “unsuspecting” victim to the first floor of the house and taking advantage of the fact that she was alone, he had “executed his nefarious plan”, the prosecutor had argued before the high court.

The prosecutor had also contended that the convict had attempted to strangulate her, by throttling her neck with a pillow and mobile charger and when he did not succeed because of the victim’s resistance, he raped her.

“She begged for mercy, but it had no impact upon him.

Timely arrival of the maid prevented more harm,” the high court noted in its verdict.

Private airline pilot put on trial in unnatural sex case: HC

A pilot with a private airline will face trial for allegedly having unnatural sex with a former air hostess of the carrier, the Delhi High Court has said while absolving him of the charge of rape.

Justice S P Garg said the trial court “fell into grave error” by observing that the pilot used his authority to force the 29-year-old woman, a Delhi resident, to have physical relations with him.

The court noted that as per the woman’s version, the accused had approached her only in October 2013 nearly 10 months after she had quit the airline. At that time she was not in any manner under his supervision or dominance, it said.

“There was no occasion for the petitioner (pilot) to establish physical relation with the prosecutrix (woman) using his position or authority as pilot,” it said.

It, however, said that the accused has to face trial for the charge of unnatural sex as “truthfulness and falsity of allegations cannot be gone through at this stage”.

The court also said the allegation pertaining to unnatural offence cannot be brushed aside or ignored.

The order came on the accused’ plea challenging the trial court’s May 2016 order framing charges against him.

The man, who is on bail since September 2014, however, has claimed that “no incriminating material” was produced against him by the woman to prove the charges.

As per the prosecution, the woman had joined the airline in August 2009 as an air hostess and had quit the job in January 2013.

The prosecution had contended in the high court that the petitioner had on February 2, 2014 gone to her house and had offered to drop her for her flight that day. Finding her alone, the man had committed the offence, it had said.

Subsequently, an FIR was filed against the man in June 2014.

Relying on the prosecution version, the court observed that “similarly, there are allegations whereby the prosecutrix was threatened that she would be defamed by showing her obscene pictures if she tried to reveal the incident to anyone.

“She was also threatened that she would be killed if situation so demanded… The petitioner shall face trial for commission of offences punishable under Sections 377/506 (unnatural sex and criminal intimidation) IPC.

Source: PTI

Bury the hatchet: HC tells Gadkari and Kejriwal

delhi-high-courtThe Delhi High Court on Thursday suggested to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Arvind Kejriwal to “bury” the hatchet over the alleged statement made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and “shake hands” with each other in larger “public interest”.

A bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and S P Garg observed there would be no end to such issues and said it would be better for both the leaders to amicably resolve it and “bury the hatchet”.

“Nothing is there, why can’t you both parties shake hands and finish off the matter on an amicable note? Why don’t you bury the hatchet and utilize time in a more productive manner?” the bench said.

“You both are renowned politicians, people look up to you,” the court added.

In response to the court’s observations, senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, appearing for the former Delhi Chief Minister, said “they (Gadkari) went to the court first, so let them

withdraw their complaint but we will not withdraw our statement or any of the allegations made as we have proofs for all the issues raised by us”.

He further said “let Gadkari give us the assurance that they will not seek prosecution of Kejriwal in this matter in future”.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, said “I (Gadkari) am an honest politician and damage has been caused to my reputation by the defamatory allegation levelled against me by Kejriwal. I don’t have any personal enmity against Kejriwal.

She also told the court that her client is ready to resolve the issue if Kejriwal withdraws his statement.

“If Kejriwal withdraws his allegations, then of course I will do (withdraw my case). But if he does not do that, then I will also not do it.

“It’s not that we are scared of him,” the ASG told the court and added that honesty is his (Gadkari) “political strength” and his “reputation is his capital”.

On January 30, Kejriwal had made an allegedly defamatory statement against Gadkari in the media.

(Source: PTI)

NIA seeks stricter charges against Delhi blast accused

The Delhi High Court Tuesday issued notice to Wasim Akram Malik, an accused in the 2011 blast near the court’s gate, on a plea that the trial court charge him with conspiracy to wage war against the government.

Justice Sanjeev Khanna and Justice S.P. Garg sought a response by Oct 16 from Malik on the National Investigation Agency’s plea challenging the trial court’s Sep 4 order refusing to frame charges against him under penal provisions for waging war against the government.

Fifteen people were killed and 79 injured in the Sep 7, 2011 blast outside Gate No.5 of the high court complex.

NIA Special Judge H.S. Sharma had found sufficient evidence against Malik under penal provisions dealing with criminal conspiracy, murder and attempt to murder and various terror charges but not waging war against the government.

The NIA in its plea in high court said: “Direct the special court to frame charges under sections 121 (waging war against the government of India), 121-A (conspiracy to commit waging war against the government), 122 (collecting arms with intention of waging war against the government), 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) of Indian Penal Code and under sections 3 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.”

The trial court had dropped against Malik the charges dealing with waging war against the government and conspiracy and collecting arms to wage a war against the country.

The investigating agency said that the terrorist attack was prompted by an intention to strike at the sovereign authority of government.

“The evidence on record shows that the intention of the conspirators including the present respondent (Malik) was to organise terrorist attack on institutions which are symbols of the sovereignty and authority of the government of India,” the NIA said.

The agency added that the special court erroneously did not appreciate the fact that in the present case an institution like the Delhi High Court was a target.

“As a logical corollary, the collection of explosives for the aforesaid purpose and clandestinely fabricating and causing explosive of improvised explosive device would amount to the commission of offences under sections 122 and 123 of the IPC,” the plea said.

Meanwhile, the trial court which was supposed to pass Tuesday the order on the framing of charges against Malik, who is in judicial custody, fixed Sep 21 to pass the order.

Malik is the first accused against whom the charges would be framed. The NIA in March filed a charge sheet against six accused, including a minor.

Court tells Delhi cops to protect newly-wed couple

The Delhi High Court Monday came to the rescue of a newly-wed couple from Uttar Pradesh who complained of threats from their relatives and asked the city police to protect them during their stay here.

justice S.P. Garg said: “Take their (the couple) address and provide them security.”

The petition said that the man married the woman June 6 here after she “willingly converted to Islam”.

The lawyer appearing for the couple said the man and his bride were majors and married “of their own free will” and the parents of the woman were opposed to the inter-religion marriage.

“The petitioners want to lead a happy married life. However, it is not possible for them to live peacefully without proper protection. They are being forced to keep changing their shelter,” said the petition.

The couple filed the ‘nikahnama’ and the school certificates of the girl in support of the plea that they were majors and married voluntarily.


Geelani aide moves high court for dropping of charges

Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, suspected aide of Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Monday moved Delhi High Court against the trial court order of framing charges against him for his alleged involvement in money laundering to fund terror.

Bhat in his petition challenged the trial court order dated March 3 when National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Judge framed charges against Bhat, Muhammad Sidiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga, for committing offences under various provisions of anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Seeking quashing of the chargesheet filed by the NIA on August 2011, Bhat said that the case against him is false and fabricated.

Bhat in his petition said: ‘The trial court has failed to appreciate the blatant falsehood, fabrication and concoction writ large on the case put forth by the prosecution.’

The NIA, in its charge sheet alleged that Bhat collected over Rs.4.57 crore during a period of three years, starting January 2008, through money laundering channels for terror activities.

He said that NIA failed to establish that any money was recovered from him.

Bhat with Muhammad Sidiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga were allegedly involved in the illegal transfer of funds through hawala channels and that these funds were being used to fund terrorist activities.

Bhat was arrested from Kashmir in January 2011 by a joint team of Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir police and Rs.21 lakh were allegedly recovered from him. Delhi Police’s anti-terror unit, Special Cell, later handed over the case to NIA.

The division bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice S.P. Garg of High Court posted the matter for April 17 for hearing.

Meanwhile, the trial which was supposed to be held Monday has been deferred by the trial court for Tuesday. National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Judge H.S. Sharma deferred the testifying of witnesses in the case for Tuesday after he found that witnesses failed to appear in the court Monday.



Plot to abduct Sachin: Eight-year jail terms for six

Six Harkat-ul Jihad-al-Islami terrorists, including three from Pakistan, who plotted to abduct cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly in 2002 were Monday sentenced to eight-year jail terms by the Delhi High Court. A trial court had earlier awarded them life terms.

A division bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice S.P. Garg modified the order on sentence and reduced the convicts’ life term to eight years on the ground of parity with three other convicts.

The lower court had held all the six men guilty under various anti-terror and penal provisions. The convicts from Pakistan are Tariq Mohammed, Arshad Khan and Ashfaq Ahmed. The three Indians are Mufti Israr, Ghulam Qadir Bhatt and Ghulam Mohd Dar.

Bhatt Monday sought acquittal in the case in the high court. To this the court asked him to file an affidavit Tuesday as to whether he accepted the reduced sentence or he wanted to argue for an outright acquittal.

The court said that the period for which Dar remained out on bail would be declared as part of the “undergone” jail term. Dar has spent more than six years in jail.

The HuJI terrorists contended that the court earlier reduced the jail term of three of their associates, who pleaded guilty earlier, to eight years.

On Jan 15, 2011, the lower court awarded life imprisonment to all the six HuJI terrorists under the stringent Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) saying the punishment “must send a clear message that India is not nor will it become a safe haven for terrorists”.

Apart from plotting to abduct the two cricketers, the accused also planned to attack Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai and assassinate then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2002.

The convicts faced trial for offences of collecting arms with the intention of waging war against the nation and conspiring to commit offences against the state.

Besides the POTA, the accused were charged under the Arms Act and the three Pakistanis were also tried under the Foreigners Act.



Nod given for occupying flats in Dwarka society:Court

An official representing the registrar of cooperative societies (RCS) told the Delhi High Court Monday that he has cleared names of a housing society’s members eligible to occupy flats in Dwarka in west Delhi.

The court had earlier asked the registrar to appear before it in person to explain the delay in clearing names of flat applicants in the society.

The bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice S.P. Garg was informed by special registrar that names of 67 members of Vasundhara Group Housing Society had been cleared but there was some delay in issuing letters to them.

He told the court that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) now had to hold a draw of lots for the flats.

Taking note of the special registrar’s submission, the bench directed the DDA to hold the draw of lots within four weeks.

The court was hearing a petition filed by members of the Vasundhara society, who alleged that the RCS had not cleared the names of applicants for 67 flats despite the fact that they were eligible for allotment.

“The construction of the society’s flats was completed six years ago and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also given clearance to it after investigating the Rs.4,000-crore housing scam of 2005, following which the court had directed the registrar’s office to pave the way for allotment of flats,” said the petitioners.

More than 100 housing societies had come under the CBI’s scanner during the scam. Most of the societies were later cleared by the investigating agency, following which the court directed the registrar’s office to fast-track the allotment of flats to genuine society members.

In a first information report (FIR) in March 2005, the CBI named some officials of the registrar office, accusing them of having misused their position to fraudulently revive a group housing society registered in 1983 and taking a plot from the government, causing loss to the exchequer.

The CBI registered a case following the high court’s direction.