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-Report by Arunima Jain

Adjudicating the matter of life imprisonment on a rarest of rare cases of a man raping his 9-year-old daughter, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday held that the term ‘life imprisonment’ is synonymous with a convict spending the rest of their life imprisoned for whatever they have been convicted for. Liberal remissions to diminish the sentence of the life imprisonmentgranted to the convict in the present case would in factuality, be nothing short of a travesty ofjustice. Judges who wield the sword of justice should not hesitate to wield that sword with the utmost severity to the full and to the end if the seriousness of the offence so requires, as thisCourt noted in Madan Gopal Kakkad Vs. Naval Dubey and another.


In the matter at hand, the appellant was tried for raping his own 9-year-old daughter in August 2012. In accordance with the same, the Sessions Court (Special Fast-track Court) hadheld the appellant guilty of the same in 2013 and had adjudicated the appellant for lifeimprisonment under Sections 376, 377 7 506 of the IPC. Additionally, the appellant was alsonot granted clemency by the State until and unless he had served at least 20 years ofimprisonment. On appeal, a Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi further upheld theprevious court’s judgement in 2017. As a last resort, this special leave petition was filedunder Article 136 of the Constitution. This appeal was filed to merely discuss the magnitude of the sentence imposed on the convicted person, and not to elaborate on the conviction.


Upon giving due regard to the facts and law in the above-mentioned case, it is contended bythe Hon’ble High Court that the appellant is liable for serving at least 30 years ofimprisonment upon taking into account remissions His lengthy incarceration would not only guarantee that he received his just rewards but would also give his daughter more time and maturity to calm down and move on with her life, even if her father is released. Owing to the amendments leading to the inclusion of the new sections 376(2)(f) and 376(3) in the IPC in 2013, the legal recourse adopted by the Sessions Fast-track Court had been wrong in technicality since the newer provisions would not have been applicable as the present case had been instituted in 2012. But owing to the gravity and severity of this case, the monstrosityimposed by the father on his own daughter led to the High Court deciding the present case. The appeal therefore has been dismissed and the appellant/convicted has been directed to payhis dues accordingly.


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