Madras High Court: Death sentence commuted to 30 years jail, observing the impact on children of the convicts and the victim
Two accused convicted of murdering three women had their death sentence commuted to life imprisonment for 30 years. Bearing in mind the impact of a death sentence on the children and family of the convicted and the victim, the court observed, “They have to live with the idea that an establishment called “judiciary” had thought it fit to impose capital punishment on their fathers. To young minds, words of robbery, murder and death sentence are meaningless. All they would know is that the Government or the judiciary, through the Government, was responsible for the death of their fathers. Leaving out to society, these three children would be more hazardous than leaving out to society the victim child.”
The court also wondered what impact and effect commuting a death sentence would have on the victim’s child and in what manner they could provide justice to her. “It has to be at least for a period of thirty years till Abhinandhini (victim’s child) becomes a woman of 36 years. By that time, hopefully, with the grace of the Almighty and the blessings of her elders, she would have settled down in life and the anger owing to the loss of her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother would diminish to a large extent. She might even have a family. This would give her confidence in life,” observed the court.
Delhi High Court: 11-year-old daughter of a daily wage labourer to get heart surgery done without paying hospital fee
On Monday, the Delhi High Court directed the GB Pant Hospital to operate on an 11-year-old girl whose father is a daily wage labourer, despite his inability to pay the hospital fee. The girl was diagnosed with a heart defect and was admitted to Lok Nayak Hospital. After the heart defect was diagnosed, the father was advised to admit his daughter to GB Pant Hospital for a surgery. However, upon reaching the hospital the father was requested to deposit Rs. 1 lakh for admission and surgery. Unable to pay the amount, the hospital refused to admit the daughter.
On hearing the father’s plea, the high court directed GB Pant Hospital to immediately admit the 11-year-old for surgery and directed the government to examine whether the girl is entitled for a free treatment.
Kerala High Court: “The educational institutions cannot be hijacked and be permitted to turn into a political battle field”
On issues of short attendance, the students of Kuriakose Elias College, Kerela vandalised the principal’s office which carried on for a few hours. Post vandalism, the principal complained to police and provided names of students involved in the act. The police, however, did not take any action.
The court therefore observed, “Even if a crime have been registered for bailable offence, it does not mean that the Police will wait for the accused to come and surrender themselves. There is no explanation why the Police cannot go to the residence of the students and arrest them to be released on bail so that at least the parents of the students would know what their wards and students are up to when they are in the college.”
Allahabad High Court: Death sentence for rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl
“The sex maniacs are prowling in the society like wild wolves to quench their sinful bodily lust. They leave no stone un-turned. In this evil pursuit they even do not spare infants and children,” the Allahabad HC observed in the rape and murder of a 7-year-old.
The victim was playing in her neighbourhood when the accused took her away on the pretext of plucking lychees. When the victim did not return home until late evening, her mother started searching for her daughter and filed an FIR. After kidnapping the minor, the accused raped and murdered her, leaving her body at the banks of a river. On hearing this, the trial court awarded death sentence to the accused and the same was upheld by the Allahabad HC.
The court observed, “Child rape cases are cases of perverse lust for sex where even innocent children are not spared in pursuit of sexual pleasure. It is a crime against humanity. In such cases, responsibility on the shoulders of the courts is more onerous so as to provide proper legal protection to these children. In our country, a girl child is in a very vulnerable position and one of the modes of her exploitation is rape besides other modes of sexual abuse. These factors point towards a different approach required to be adopted. The effect of such a crime on the mind of the child is likely to be life long.”
Delhi court: Google to remove all videos offensive to Sikhism featuring Sakshi Bharadwaj
Resident of South Delhi, Sakshi Bharadwaj posted videos containing hate speech and offensive remarks towards Sikh gurus and Sikhism. After watching the videos, the petitioner approached the court and requested their removal.
The court observed, “After going through the contents of the plaint and watching videos, it prima facie appears that uploader of the videos has made derogatory remarks against Sikh Gurus and their family members and its followers are likely to feel great insult of the religious sentiments by continued circulation of videos of Sakshi Bhardwaj on social media.”
The court therefore directed Google to take down all the videos featuring Bharadwaj, including videos on YouTube containing the elements of hate speech against the religion.