HC reduced sentence for raping mentally challenged woman from life imprisonment to 10 years
HC reduced sentence for raping mentally challenged woman from life imprisonment to 10 years

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has reduced the punishment of a man convicted of raping a mentally challenged woman from life imprisonment to 10 years. A bench of Justices AS Gadkari and MN Jadhav said the victim was in a position to understand the consequences of the incident. The woman also went to that place.

During the hearing, the bench said that the incident has happened with a slightly weak mentally weak woman in this case, so this matter should be considered with the utmost sensitivity. Upholding the conviction, the bench said that in the present case, the victim is helpless, and mentally challenged. The present matter needs to be dealt with with utmost sensitivity. Her privacy and personal integrity have been damaged by the appellant. In fact, the victim lived with her brother's family. She was not married because she was mentally weak. She used to roam around Asangaon station, Shahpur, Washind station, Kalyan station and Thane station throughout the day. In 2014, the victim's family came to know that she was pregnant. They got her sonography done, it revealed pregnancy. But the victim did not say who was responsible for that situation. Therefore, an FIR has been registered at Shahpur police station.

When the police questioned the victim, she informed about the 22-year-old criminal Anil Kolhe. Who worked as a labourer. Kolhe was identified by the victim at the police station. On July 1, 2014, the victim gave birth to a baby boy and the police took blood samples for DNA tests. The report came in 2015 and confirmed that the perpetrator was the father of the newborn child. Since the victim was not in a position to take care of the child, the newborn was sent to trust in Thane. The prosecution had said that the criminal had raped at least five times at an isolated place near Kasara town in the Thane district. According to police, Kolhe was fully aware that the victim was mentally challenged. In the defence, it was said on behalf of the offender that the victim was not mentally challenged and the physical relationship with her was done due to her consent and love affair. Kolhe was sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in the Kalyan district on January 28, 2016. The high court took note of the victim's statements that apart from narrating the entire incident of rape, she expressed her desire to marry Kolhe, but her family did not allow it. The bench also took into account the mental health report of the victim, which concluded that she was also a little mentally weak. The high court upheld the conviction in the rape case on the basis of DNA evidence. The bench, however, said the victim was mentally weak but was still aware of what she was doing and the consequences. In such a situation, the punishment of life imprisonment will be harsh. The bench commuted the life sentence of the offender to 10 years. It also expanded the fine amount to Rs 50,000.

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