New Delhi, Feb 13: Terming rapists a "menace to the civilized society" and calling for them to "mercilessly and inexorably punished" in the severest terms, the Delhi High Court has refused to lessen the punishment of the rapist of a five-year-old.
"Children are ignorant of the act of rape and are not able to offer resistance and become easy prey for lusty brutes who display the unscrupulous, deceitful and insidious art of luring female children and young girls. Therefore, such offenders who are menace to the civilized society should be mercilessly and inexorably punished in the severest terms," the court said in a recent verdict.
As per the prosecution, Rai had raped the girl Sep 12, 2007. When the girl was playing outside with other children, Rai called her on pretext of giving money and took her to his house. He raped her and let her free by giving Rs 2. The child informed her elder sister after which an FIR was registered at Adarsh Nagar police station in north Delhi.
The accused has denied the allegations and alleged his false implication in the case. He alleged that he used to collect rent from enants on behalf of the owner and the father of the girl never paid rent despite repeated requests and got this false case registered against him.
The high court, however, brushed aside the allegation of accused saying: "At any rate, even if it is assumed that there was any default on the part of the parents of the complainant to pay rent, it was most unlikely that they would level false allegations against the accused by putting the honour and chastity of the minor child at stake."
On Oct 11, 2010, the trial court had sentenced Rai to 10 years of imprisonment after convicting him under section 376(2)(f) (commits rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age) of the Indian Penal Code.
Upholding the the order of trial court, Justice Gupta said that trial court has awarded the sentence of 10 years which is the minimum sentence prescribed under section 376 2 (f), "as such, there was no discretion vested in the court to impose a lesser sentence which the facts and circumstances of the case even otherwise did not warrant".
"The victim was only five years old child when this gruesome and abhorring act of committing rape was committed by the accused. Such an act leaves a permanent scar on the personality of the child, inhibiting growth and development. It instils a feeling of fear, insecurity and a brooding sense of shame and guilt for no fault of the victim," the court observed.
On the objections raised by the accused that he was convicted on the sole evidence of child witness and her testimony, the high court said: "I see absolutely no reason to disbelieve the testimony of the prosecutrix who withstood the test of cross examination."
"Testimony of victim cannot be brushed aside on the flimsy plea raised by the accused. In view of the settled legal proposition, testimony of prosecutrix (girl) herself is sufficient to bring home the guilt of the accused which, in the instant case, finds corroboration from the narration of entire incident to her sister, medical evidence as well as scientific evidence," it added.