Rape is a crime of power, more than one of lust: Delhi HC

HC upholds man's 10-year jail for sexually assaulting minor

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Rape is an "unrelentingly savage expression" when committed on a child and no clemency can be shown to such a perpetrator, the Delhi High Court has said while upholding the 10-year imprisonment of a man for sexually assaulting a minor.

Justice C. Hari Shankar dismissed the man's appeal against a trial court's verdict convicting him for raping and kidnapping the child and upheld the jail term awarded to him.

The high court said the trial court has been lenient in sentencing the convicting only to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and as there was no appeal by the authorities to enhance the sentence, it was handicapped from opining further on that score.

"Rape is, on every occasion and without exception, a crime of power, more than one of lust, and, when committed on a child, is a brute and unrelentingly savage expression thereof. No clemency or mercy, whatsoever, can be shown to the perpetrator of such an act, especially when the perpetration is in full possession of the senses and faculties of the perpetrator," it said.

According to the prosecution, the man, who was the victim's neighbour, had taken her away in February 2013 on the pretext of buying clothes for her.

He boarded a taxi from Anand Vihar in East Delhi and took the girl to a village in Pitoragarh, where she was confined in a house for over a month.

The girl had deposed that the man introduced her to be his daughter to the house owner. The man repeatedly raped and also threatened to kill her, if she disclosed his acts to anyone, she had said.

On day, finding no one around, she tried to flee but was caught by the man. Thereafter, she called her brother from the house owner's phone and police was informed.

The man had claimed that he was innocent and was falsely implicated in the case and alleged that the girl's mother owed him some money.

The high court, in its verdict, said the man had enticed the victim, who was playing with her friends, away from their company, deprived her of the warm sanctuary of her parents and loved ones.

He "transported her to what may be only termed a veritable hellhole, in a distant village, where she was confined, under threat of her life, in a desolate room, for over a month, and subjected to repeated acts of sexual assault," it said.

"The acts of the appellant (man) betoken complete disregard for the bodily, mental and psychological integrity of the prosecutrix, solely with a view to satisfy his unnatural sexual urges.

"The degree of damage to the child, in such cases, is physical and psychological in equal measure. It is impossible for a court, peopled, after all, by lay human beings, to even conceptualise, let alone visualise, what a child, such as the prosecutrix, must have undergone, every traumatic second of the span of her confinement,' the judge said.