|It shows to what bottomless pit of lust a person could go down”|
New Delhi: A man who raped his 13-year-old daughter has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court.
“There can never be a more shocking, depraved and heinous crime than when the father is charged with having raped his own daughter. He not only delicts the law but, it is a betrayal of trust,” it said.
“The father is the fortress and refuge in whom the daughter reposes trust to protect her,” said a Bench consisting of Justices Arijit Pasayat and P. Sathasivam. “Being charged with raping his own daughter under his refuge and fortress is worse than the gamekeeper becoming a poacher and treasury guard becoming a robber.”
Writing the judgment, Justice Pasayat said the case showed to what bottomless pit of depravation and lust a person could go down. “The father is supposed to protect the dignity and honour of his daughter. This is a fundamental facet of human life. If the protector becomes the violator, the offence assumes a greater degree of vulnerability. The custodian of the trust has betrayed the same.”
Expressing its anguish, the Bench said such incidents polluted the sanctity of father and daughter relationship. “It becomes an unpardonable act. It is not only a loathsome sin, but also abhorrent. This case is a sad reflection on the present-day society where a most platonic relationship has been soiled by the pervert and degrading act of the father.”
On the plea for leniency, the Bench said protection of society and stamping out criminal proclivity must be the object of law, which must be achieved by imposing an appropriate sentence. “By deft modulation, the sentencing process must be stern where it should be and tempered with mercy where it warrants. Undue sympathy to impose inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice system and undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law, and society could no long endure such serious threats.”
The Bench asked the trial courts and High Courts to give due consideration to the facts and circumstances of each case, for deciding the just and appropriate sentence for an offence.
“The aggravating and mitigating factors and circumstances in which a crime has been committed are to be delicately balanced on the basis of really relevant circumstances in a dispassionate manner by the court.”
In the instant case, Siriya alias Shri Lal was awarded life imprisonment by a Guna sessions court.
On appeal, the Madhya Pradesh High Court confirmed the sentence.
The apex court rejected the appeal made against that judgment by the accused, who said he had been falsely implicated.
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