The High Court upheld a seven-year jail term awarded to a priest for raping a 16-year-old girl repeatedly in a temple in Delhi. The heinous offence was committed by a priest who is respected in the society and considered to be a trustworthy person. But disregarding morality and consequence of his act,he committed such a barbaric offence upon a young girl repeatedly, Justice ML Mehta said.
Justice Mehta upheld the lower courts conviction of seven years rigorous imprisonment to Prem Dass,a priest with Lord Shiva temple in Northwest Delhi who repeatedly raped the school-going girl inside the temple.
In my considered opinion,the prosecution has brought home the guilt of the appellant beyond reasonable doubt, Mehta.
Dass had filed the appeal against the 2010 trial court verdict,saying there were discrepancies and inconsistencies in the statements of the prosecutrix and hence,his conviction was bad in law. Sexual violence,apart from being a dehumanising act,is an unlawful intrusion on the right of privacy and sanctity of a female, the court said,dismissing Dass appeal.
It is a serious blow to her honour and offends her self-esteem. It degrades the victim and where the victim is a helpless innocent child or a minor, it added.