New Delhi, Dec 5 : The Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a man accused of raping a mentally disabled girl with low IQ.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justice R. Subhash Reddy said that the accused has taken advantage of the mental disability and low IQ of the victim.
The top court dismissed the appeal of the accused challenging the Himachal Pradesh High Court verdict delivered in September 2016. The High Court had reversed the trial court order, which acquitted the accused, and sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment. The top court relied on the DNA report, which established that the accused was the biological father of the victim’s child. The bench said it is required to be noted that it is a case of sexual assault on a victim whose IQ was 62 and was mentally retarded and that the accused has taken undue advantage of the mental sickness of the victim.
The bench said: “A person suffering from mental disorder or mental sickness deserves special care, love and affection. They are not to be exploited. Therefore, no interference of this Court against the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court convicting the accused is called for.”
The bench observed that on evidence, it has been established and proved that the victim was mentally retarded and she was not in a position to understand the aspects of sexual assault. “From the medical evidence, it emerges that IQ 62 falls in the category of ‘mild mental retardation'”, noted the top court.
The top court noted that the High Court rightly observed that case would fall under Section 375 IPC and has rightly convicted the accused for the offence under Section 376 IPC. “Even as per clause 5 of Section 375 IPC, ‘a man is said to commit rape’, if with her consent when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind, is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent”, noted the top court.
The FIR in the matter was lodged by the victim’s father in 2008. He said his daughter had informed her mother that the accused had raped her when had gone to graze the cattle.
The prosecution had submitted that due to fear and mental weakness, the victim had not disclosed the incident to anyone.
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