Madhya Pradesh HC Modifies Judgement After Facing Backlash Over Remark ‘Kind Enough to Leave Rape Victim Alive’

Madhya Pradesh HC Law Insider

Bhuvana Marni

Published on: 31 October 2022 at 18:19 IST

A week after the Madhya Pradesh High Court received criticism for stating that the rape convict was “kind enough to leave the prosecutrix alive” in the order lowering his life imprisonment to rigorous imprisonment of 20-year, a division bench led by Justice Subodh Abhyankar has changed the decision from October 18. On October 27, the court stated that it had taken suo moto cognisance of the matter.

“It is brought to the notice of this court that certain inadvertent mistake has crept in the judgment delivered by this court on 18.10.2022, wherein the word “Kind” has been used to refer to the appellant who stands convicted of rape”.

The division bench of Justice Abhyankar and Justice Satyendra Kumar Singh said it is “apparent” that the “mistake” is “obviously inadvertent” in the context as the court had already held the act of the appellant as “demonic”.

The court has now modified the sentence “however, considering the fact that he was kind enough to leave the prosecutrix alive …” to “however, considering the fact that he did not cause any other physical injury to the victim …”.

“In view of the same, para 12 the judgement dated 18.10.2022 is hereby modified/corrected to the extent as aforesaid only. Thus, para 12 of the judgment dated 18.102022 shall stand replaced with the aforesaid modified para 12. This order is read conjointly with the order dated 18.10.2022,” the bench said in the modification order.

For raping a 4-year-old girl in 2007, the appellant was found guilty in 2009 under Section 376(2)(F) of the IPC. The division bench had said the following in its now-modified verdict after ruling on the convict’s appeal:

“In such circumstances, this Court does not find any error in appreciation of evidence by the trial Court and considering the demonic act of the appellant who appears to have no respect for the dignity of a woman and has the propensity to commit sexual offence even with a girl child aged 4 years, this Court does not find it to be a fit case where the sentence can be reduced to the sentence already undergone by him.”

“However, considering the fact that he was kind enough to leave the prosecutrix alive, this court is of the opinion that the life imprisonment can be reduced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment.”

Accordingly, the criminal appeal is partly allowed and the appellant is made to suffer the period of 20 years in accordance with law.

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