The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh high court has reduced the life sentence of a rape convict to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment, saying that he was “kind enough to leave the girl alive”.
The convict, Ram Singh (40), was arrested on charges of raping a four-year-old girl in Indore in 2007, and was sentenced for life by an additional sessions judge (Indore) in April 2009. He challenged the order in the high court in May 2009.
Hearing the plea on September 28, a bench of Justices Subodh Abhyankar and Satyendra Kumar Singh observed: “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 (girl) alive, this court is of the opinion that the life imprisonment can be reduced to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment.”
The criminal appeal is partly allowed and the appellant be made to suffer the period of 20 years in accordance with law, it added. The convict has already completed the imprisonment of 15 years in jail.
According to the order announced on October 18, the incident took place on May 31, 2007 near Indore’s ITI ground, when the survivor followed her grandmother out of their hut. Singh, then 25 years old, resided in a tent nearby and allegedly called the survivor inside on the pretext of giving her a rupee and raped her. A medical report of the girl has confirmed rape.
The convict’s lawyer has argued that he has been falsely implicated as barring eyewitnesses there is no cogent evidence available on record to connect him with the offence. The court, however, said: “Mere absence of the FSL report does not and cannot deter the Courts to appreciate the evidence available on record… there is not only eyewitness account available in the case but is also duly corroborated by the medical evidence as has been proved by Dr Ranjana Patidar, the guilt of the appellant is proved beyond reasonable doubt.”