The offence of rape or attempt to rape is a crime not just against an individual but a crime which destroys the basic equilibrium of society,the Supreme Court said today while upholding the life term awarded to a man for raping and murdering a minor girl.
A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra said the incidents like rape create an incurable dent in the fabric of the social milieu and the society as a whole is compelled to suffer.
“Rape or an attempt to rape is a crime not against an individual but a crime which destroys the basic equilibrium of the social atmosphere,” the bench said.
“It is to be kept in mind that an offence against the body of a woman lowers her dignity and mars her reputation. It is said that one’s physical frame is his or her temple. No one has any right of encroachment,” the bench said.
The court passed the order on an appeal by convict Jugendra Singh,challenging an Allahabad High Court ruling,which had convicted him and awarded life term,setting aside a trial court order,which had acquitted him.
Upholding the high court’s order,the bench said the trial court order was “absolutely unreasonable,perverse and on total erroneous appreciation of evidence contrary to the settled principles of law”.
“An attempt for the momentary pleasure of the accused has caused the death of a child and had a devastating effect on her family and,in the ultimate eventuate,on the collective at large. When a family suffers in such a manner,the society as a whole is compelled to suffer as it creates an incurable dent in the fabric of the social milieu.
“The cry of the collective has to be answered and respected and that is what exactly the high court has done by converting the decision of acquittal to that of conviction and imposed the sentence as per law,” the bench said.
In this case the convict,strangulated a nine-year-old girl after raping her in 1994.
“The case at hand graphically exposes the inferior endowments of nature in the appellant who failed to husband his passion and made an attempt to rape a nine-year-old girl and the tears of the child failed to have any impact on his emotion and even an iota of compassion did not surface as if it had been atrophied and eventually he pressed her neck which caused instant death of the young girl,” the bench said.
Upholding the conviction,the apex court said the minor discrepancies on trivial matters not touching the core of the case and attaching importance to some technical error committed by the investigating officer would not ordinarily permit rejection of the evidence as a whole.
“From the days of yore,every civilised society has developed various kinds of marriages to save the man from the tyranny of sex,for human nature in certain circumstances has the enormous potentiality of exhibiting intrigue,intricacy and complexity,in a way,a labyrinth.
“Instances do take place where a man becomes a slave to this tyrant and exposes unbridled appetite and lowers himself to an unimaginable extent for gratification of his carnal desire,” the bench said.