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Sympathy towards accused cannot be grounds for lesser punishment: Gauhati High Court

Given the seriousness of the crime committed by the appellant and all of the facts and circumstances of the case, we see no reason to be generous to the appellant and minimize his jail sentence. As a result, the learned amicus Curiae’s submission pleading for the accused’s jail sentence to be reduced is rejected. The court cannot see any merit in the accused’s plea of amicus curiae for a lighter penalty. This Honorable Judgement was passed in The Gauhati High Court in The Case of Sumon Bhumiz Vs the State of Assam & Anr. [Crl.A(J)/120/2018] by Justice Suman Shyam and Justice Mir Alfaz Ali.

The mother of the victim girl had lodged a complaint before the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO), Hailakandi, reporting about sexual assault made by her husband upon her minor daughter, aged about 11 years. In the complaint, it was stated that her husband is committing such activities for the past one month when all her family went asleep. One night, she discovered her minor daughter uncovered, and the zip of her husband’s pant had been opened. Her daughter shouted and said her father had put her private part in her private part on her body. The next morning, the witness complained of bleeding and extreme stomach pain that showed penetration. Following these charges was framed against the appellant under Section 6 of the POCSO Act, 2012. The matter went up for trial taking note of the evidence available on record, the learned trial Court had found the accused guilty of committing rape upon his minor daughter and accordingly convicted him. Following this, the amicus curiae pleas for a lesser sentence as he was the sole bread earner of his family and being in jail might affect the whole family’s conditions.

The Court observed that “it is apparent that the husband of the informant is a habitual drinker and in a state of intoxication, he had not only repeatedly, sexually assaulted his minor daughter (victim) but had also made similar attempts in the past on his eldest daughter, as a result of which, she had to be sent away to Karimganj. The evidence adduced by the prosecution side, therefore, proves the charge framed against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. Situated thus, we do not find any justifiable ground to interfere with the impugned judgement and order passed by the learned trial Court”

The dismissing the petition the court stated having regard to the nature of the offence committed by the appellant and keeping in mind the facts and circumstances of the case in its entirety, “we do not find any good ground to adopt a sympathetic approach towards the appellant and reduce his jail sentence. As such, the submission made by the learned Amicus Curiae praying for reducing the jail sentence of the accused stands rejected.”

Thus, the appellant failed to convince the court in regard to the merits of the case and the conviction of the appellant awarded by the learned trial Court is hereby affirmed.

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