Life terms of convicts in minor’s sexual assault case commuted
The bench noted that consent of the minor has no relevance at all in the case but it can, at the most, be considered as a mitigating factor while deciding the question of sentence.
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court commuted the life sentence awarded to a man and his two accomplices in connection with the kidnap of a minor girl, forcibly marrying her, and subjecting her to aggravated penetrative sexual assault.A Division Bench of Justices PN Prakash and AA Nakkiran recently passed the orders after hearing appeals by the three.
While confirming the sentences of 10 and 2 years of rigorous imprisonment, respectively, for kidnap and forcible marriage of the minor handed to main accused Vijayakumar, the bench reduced the life sentence awarded for aggravated penetrative sexual assault to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment without any remission benefits.
The bench reduced the life term handed to his accomplices, Pastor Muniyandi and Joseph Raja, for the offences of abetting aggravated penetrative sexual assault to ten years of rigorous imprisonment and confirmed two years of rigorous imprisonment each awarded on other counts. The trial court has been directed to secure the appellants, who had been released on appeal bail, and imprison them.The bench noted that consent of the minor has no relevance at all in the case but it can, at the most, be considered as a mitigating factor while deciding the question of sentence.
Vijayakumar from Kanniyakumari, used to visit his sister Vasanthakumari at a place near Gobichettipalayam in Erode. He was married and has two children. The survivor was a neighbour of Vasanthakumari. She was studying Class X. Vijayakumar lured the girl into a relationship and eloped with her in August, 2016. He took her to his friends’ house before tying the knot at Gudalur in the Nilgiris and sex with her. The Kadathur police, however, caught him following a complaint by the girl’s grandmother and, subsequently, arrested the trio. The Mahila Court in Erode punished them with life sentence in 2017.