SHILLONG, Sep 07: The Meghalaya High Court has ordered that the maximum compensation possible is to be paid to a rape victim while upholding a verdict passed by a trial court which had convicted her assailant.
In its judgement passed on Friday, the division bench which comprised chief justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice SR Sen said, “While going through the statements of the prosecution witnesses and also of the defence witnesses as recorded during trial by the learned Trial Court, we found that the learned Trial Court has meticulously appreciated the evidence of all the witnesses and has rightly drawn the conclusions. No infirmity, irregularity or illegality is noticed in the judgment impugned. Sentence awarded is also appropriate. Therefore, both the judgment impugned as well as the order awarding sentences being in conformity with law are upheld.”
The bench has also directed the Chairman, District Legal Services Authority to ascertain from records as to whether the victim has been paid any compensation in accordance with the victim compensation scheme, if not, maximum compensation permissible in accordance with the scheme shall be paid to the victim.
On March 24, last year, the Additional Judge, District Council Court, Shillong in its judgment convicted the accused identified as Joken Kharsati under Sections 376 (2) (f) and 506 IPC.
After a hearing regarding the quantum of sentence, the trial court vide order dated April 5, 2017 also sentenced the convict to 10 years rigorous imprisonment with fine to the tune of Rs.10,000 under Section 376 (2) (f) IPC and in default of payment of fine to undergo simple imprisonment for six months. The amount of fine if recovered to be paid to the victim.
The bench said that the trial court while appreciating the testimony of the prosecutrix has rightly observed that there was no other eye witness to the crime.
“Children are mostly ignorant about rape and are not able to offer resistance. Worst example of traumatic experience is of the (prosecutrix) she was totally unaware of the catastrophe which had befallen her,” it said.
While appreciating the entire evidence and while considering the entire materials and reasons recorded by the learned trial court and the law cited, the bench said there is no scope to take a view other than the one taken by the trial court.