So a precedence of leniency had been set in an earlier case…

Praveen Talwar (PT) of Lawst In Translation who created this petition has shared more information.

I am sharing PT’s email below.

“Finally got some time to sniff around. Found  the original judgement, if you want a look. Here it is:

I’ve attached the text of the Cited case as well, for reference, because the reduction in the sentence seems to have been based completely on that one case.

This is where the judge completely turned around:

” It is submitted by Mr. Sait [counsel for the defense] that the severe punishment imposed by the Trial Court may not serve the purpose, and may prove to be counter productive. He has relied upon the judgment of the Orissa High Court in the case of Mihir alias Bhikari Charan Sahu Vs. State reported in 1992 CRI L.J. 488 and submitted that the Orissa High Court had come to the conclusion that  since the appellant has a broken family life and belongs to the lower strata of the society and since the offence definitely was one relating to perversity and deprivation of mind, the sentence was reduced to two years from three years.”

He’s talking about FAMILY. A broken family.

Are you kidding me?!

It’s unbelievable, really.”

So a bad precedence had already been set, and now this case is only making it a stronger case for reduced sentences for rapists who lose control when they stay away from family?

“That is exactly why this case has struck me so deeply.

If you look through the citations here, you will see a trail that grows more and more insidious.

The Orissa HC judgement was regarding a minor who was nevertheless much older than the infant in the Bombay Case.

The defense has used that judgement to successfully argue for a reduction in the sentence of a man who raped a ten MONTH old girl.

Who knows what’s next?

India’s whole system for dealing with sexual assault needs a complete overhaul. The opponents of this overhaul frequently cite the absence of relevant precedents and case law as a reason why things should not be changed.

I, on the other hand, think that this collection of junk case law is EXACTLY why things should be changed.

Work is on, at the usual snail’s pace of Indian bureaucracy.

The Law Commission’s recommendations on rape laws here:

Please do sign the petition if you have not yet done it.


16 thoughts on “So a precedence of leniency had been set in an earlier case…

  1. I read the petition and signed it. And forwarded it to others. I am hopeful that this will bring some justice. And if nothing else, the petition will make more people aware of the weird logic here. That is still better than doing nothing at all 🙂
    Thanks PT, for all the informative links, and for creating the petition.


  2. Goodness! I can’t but help be amazed that this swayed the judges!

    At the very least, PT’s petition will bring about awareness – and hopefully one day , these kind of judgements will not happen..


  3. I signed the petition and posted on my facebook page (with me real identity). Thanks PT, for doing this. I believe it is important to protest in whatever way we can. At least raise awareness. In my opinion, the more we talk about this, the more people it will reach and hopefully, those who think that rape is akin to a natural disaster — unavoidable and linked to “destiny” may start thinking otherwise.


  4. I m appalled! If the victim was older in this case they would have said she was dressed improperly hence it enticed the rapist! It is disheartening to see casual attitude towards a crime like rape!


  5. “broken family life and belongs to the lower strata of the society”

    Not only is the broken family life a weird excuse, but ‘lower strata of society’? Excuse me? What is this person trying to say? That poorer / less educated people have lower morals? That are are less human? How ingrained are our Indian feelings of class/caste/race? How do these judgements play into the justification of lynching another man for looking wrong at our ‘bahu/betiyan’ while not being from the right jaat?


    • I just realized that this sounds like a ‘What about the poor men?’ Not my intention, but using all these excuses is really disgusting. In case the lawyer argues that the defendent didn’t know any better/lost control, may be that is all the more reason to lock them up. 10 months *shudder*


  6. Pingback: In Rape Culture, we understand that if the rapist was living alone, away from his native place, he could lose control over himself. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  7. Pingback: “So a precedence of leniency had been set in an earlier case…” by IHM « CSA Awareness Month

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