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The India observer, TIO, NJ: A recent judgment by the Indore Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court that reduced the life sentence of a rape convict to 20 years has caught the attention of many in the country. Some dumb witted have called it yet another example of the ‘Hindu-isation’ of the Indian Judiciary
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There were two talking points about the Indore Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court judgment. The first was the name controversy of the convict who was earlier told to be a Muslim but later turned out to be fake news and the convict turned out to be a Hindu. The second talking point was how come a demonic act of rape that too of a four-year girl, could be construed as “kind enough” as the rapist spare the life of the survivor and hence his life sentence be reduced to 20 years.
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First, let’s know how the name controversy erupted. The news that the convict Mohammad Firoz did make rounds due to Sudarshan News journalist Santosh Chauhan who tweeted this name. It was seconded by Ashish Vyas a journalist with Panchjanya, an RSS publication. However, creditable fact-checkers have found that the convict was actually Ramu aka Ramsingh, son of Kishansingh, a Hindu man. This was corroborated by the convict’s Advocate Sharmila Sharma who confirmed that the convict was Ramsingh a Hindu “Marwari Rajput,” and that is the name registered in his court’s surrender memo.
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Now, this raises the question, of how such outrageous hate mongers are allowed to flourish in society. The controversial ‘Bindas Bol’ programme on Sudarshan TV is still fresh in our memory. No lesson learned from such a hate agenda is the summary of the fake news name controversy of a rape convict.
The second issue is the judgment by the Indore Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court of Justices Subodh Abhyankar and Satyendra Kumar Singh who called the crime “a demonic act” but yet reduced the life imprisonment stating the convict was “kind enough” to spare the child’s life.
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The bench said, “In such circumstances, this Court does not find any error in appreciation of evidence by the trial Court and considering the demonic act of the appellant who appears to have no respect for the dignity of a woman and has the propensity to commit sexual offense even with a girl child aged four years, this Court does not find it to be a fit case where the sentence can be reduced to the sentence already undergone by him, however, considering the fact that he was kind enough to leave the prosecutrix alive, this court is of the opinion that the life imprisonment can be reduced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment.”
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Well, some feel the High Court judgment favoring the rapist was given because he is a Hindu man. They question that if Ramsingh, was actually Mohammad Firoz, would the same bench have reduced the rape convict’s life sentence to 20 years on the ground that he was “kind enough” to spare the life of the four-year-old survivor. This gives rise to speculation that religious biases in favor of Hindu convicts are being practiced in India. The release of the convicts of the Bilkis Bano gang rape is a recent example.
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Noted lawyer and senior advocate, Rajeev Dhavan in an interview had alleged that some of the Supreme Court’s judgments have paved the way for the ‘Hindu-isation’ of India. Dahvan cited the apex court’s judgments going back to the sixties and said that some of its rulings have given a nod to the idea that India was an “innately Hindu” state. The noted lawyer enlisted four important judgments saying they contributed to the ‘Hindu-isation’ of India. The last case judgment he cited was of the Babri Masjid case.
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Ramsingh was arrested on charges of raping a four-year-old girl in Indore in 2007. He was convicted and sentenced to life term imprisonment by an Additional Sessions Judge, Indore in April 2009. In May 2009 he made a criminal appeal challenging the judgment in the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The High Court reduced the convict’s sentence from life imprisonment to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment.
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The incident reportedly took place near ITI ground in Indore on May 31, 2007. Ram Singh, then 25, resided in a tent nearby. He called the minor girl inside the tent under the pretext of giving her a rupee and raped her.
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Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai
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