SC lets off gangrapists after they agreed to compensate victim
In an unusual order, the Supreme Court let off three gang rapists after they claimed a 'compromise formula' with the victim and agreed to pay her a fine of Rs 50,000 each for their offence.
A bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra reduced to three and half years the 10-year sentence awarded to three gang rapists who took the plea that both the convicts and the victim were now happily married to different people and "wanted to live peacefully."
Under Section 376(G) of the IPC, the minimum sentence to the gang rapists is 10 years, which may extend even to life imprisonment.
Though Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra was not initially inclined to compound (close the case by way of fine)the matter as it was not a compoundable offence, the apex court later relented and agreed to let them off provided the convicts paid Rs 50,000 each to the victim.
The apex court ordered that " the amount shall be paid to the victim within three months", failing which the same shall be recovered under the Land Revenue Act from the trio and paid to the victim.
In this case, the convicts Baldev Singh, Gurmail Singh and Hardeep Singh, all said to be agricultural farmers, had gangraped the victim in Punjab's Ludhiana district on March 5, 1997.
The sessions court had awarded 10 years imprisonment to the convicts.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed the convicts' appeal, following which they appealed in the apex court.