NEW DELHI: Judges are "vulnerable" to murderous assaults for their verdicts which always go against one of the parties in a case, a Delhi court has said while awarding 10-year jail term to three convicts for assaulting three trial court judges in a road rage case here in 2012.
The incident has "shaken the conscience" of the society and sends a message that "nobody is safe", the court said.
Expressing concern over the safety of judicial officers who are mostly without any security cover, Additional Sessions Judge R K Tripathi handed down the 10-year rigorous jail term to the three for attempting to murder the judges by hurling bricks at their official car in a South Delhi locality.
The attackers had forced the judges to come out of an official car and severely assaulted them.
While sending Anil Raj, Prashant and Rohit to jail for ten years and imposing fines, the court asserted that stringent punishment was must and the "unscrupulous" convicts cannot be forgiven in any manner as their act was "deliberate" and "intentional".
"The act of the convicts has shaken the consicence of society and wrongful act of the convicts sends the message that nobody is safe," it said.
The court said "judges are more vulnerable to attacks as they pass judgements which may be in favour of a party or not.
The aggrieved party may have grudge against a judge and may target him whenever they find a chance.
"Nowadays, safety and security of judges and other public servants is a matter of grave concern. Public is expected to behave respectfully with such public servants, rather that acting violently to settle personal scores."
"It is a matter of grave concern that despite seeing the sticker of judges on the car and knowing fully well that they are judges, they did not show any sign of respect or restraint, rather became more violent and aggressive," it said.
The judge said the convicts had not only shown disrespect towards public servants but took law in their own hands.
"The convicts have shown utmost disrespect to the public servants. They took the law in their own hands and tried to prove themselves that they are above the law. They not only damaged the government vehicle but also caused injuries to the victims," the judge said.
The court noted that the convicts had continuously pelted bricks on their car and pulled out a judge from the rear seat by grabbing his collar and tearing his clothes which shows that they had intention to kill the victims.
"The unscrupulous persons like the convicts need to be awarded stringent punishment to send a strong message in the society. The action of the convicts cannot be forgiven in any manner. Strong message needs to be sent to society that in case any person will take law in his own hand, he will not be spared," it said.
The act of the convicts becomes graver when they, after coming to know that the victims were judges, became aggressive and violent and continuously pelted bricks towards them, the court said.
Considering that they caused severe damage to the government vehicle, the court directed the convicts to collectively pay Rs 45,000 to the car owner, that is the office of the District and Sessions Judge.
The court held the convicts, all Delhi residents, guilty of the offences including attempt to murder and assault on public servant to deter him from discharge of duty under IPC and relevant provisions of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
The then judges in Saket district court -Ajay Garg, M K Nagpal and Inderjeet Singh - were attacked by four persons in May 2012 while they were on their way home. While three accused faced trial, one was declared as proclaimed offender.
According to the prosecution, the judges were headed to Faridabad on the evening of May 17, 2012 when the incident took place.
It said that a bike with two of the accused hit the rear window of the judges' car near Dakshinpuri in south Delhi due to which both fell down. When the accused got into a scuffle with the driver, the judges intervened and pacified them.
But the accused after seeing a "Judge" sticker on the car, called two more persons to attack them, it said.