SC shows no mercy to Sarpanch's son in gangrape case

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New Delhi, Feb 28 (UNI) The Supreme Court once again declined to show any leniency to a person found guilty of gangraping a married woman, confirming life imprisonment awarded to him by the trial court and Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and V S Sirpurkar, while dismissing the appeal of Ramesh Kumar, son of Sarpanch of village Rajapur in Panipat, yesterday noted, ''It cannot be forgotten that on the evening of occurrence of the crime, the woman's husband was lured taking advantage of his addiction to alchohol, to lure the woman, in turn, to come out of her house to take back her husband who was in a drunken state.

Here was a defenceless married woman who was tricked out of her house taking advantage of drunkenness of her husband and then was ravished in a most dastardly manner by three people, one of whom was the appellant before us.'' The bench added, ''Under such circumstances, we do not think that any leniency can be shown in the matter of sentence. It cannot be forgotten that out of the three accused, only one has come up by way of an appeal and he cannot be treated differently from others, who are serving their life sentences. The appeal has no merits and is accordingly dismissed.'' Initially, six people were tried for the gangrape on February 5,1999 at village Rajapur.

The other accused, who have been sentenced to life imprisonment, were Veer Bhan and Ajmer Singh. A fine of Rs 10,000 each has also been imposed on them.

The three others, who were sentenced to 19-year-imprisonment by the trial court but were let off by the High Court for not being a part of the rape, were Bagicha, Raju and Suraj Bhan. A fine of Rs 10,000 each was imposed on them also.

The apex court added, ''At any cost, we can take the notice of the fact that the father of the appalant has been the Sarpanch for the last 20 years and there would be no question of taking a lenient view on the heinous crime in which the appellant was a part.'' UNI AKS/SC GL AS1637

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