The Supreme Court has stayed the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, wherein the latter had suspended the sentence awarded to the three law students from Jindal Global Law School who were convicted for blackmailing and gang raping a student of the same University for about two years. The Apex Court has issued notice on the rape survivor's Petition challenging the order.
In the impugned order, the High Court had suspended the sentence awarded to them on the condition that they would not leave the country, abstain from contacting the victim in any manner and would undergo psychiatric counseling “until they are free of their voyeuristic tendencies”. Their parents had also been directed to submit to the Court a progress report on this aspect after six months.
The order delivered by the Bench comprising Justice Mahesh Grover and Justice Raj Shekhar Attri had said that it intended to “balance the concerns of the victim, demands of the society and law and the element of reformatory and rehabilitative justice”.
Unfortunately though, it had taken note of the victim’s casual relationships and the lack of “gut wrenching violence” as “compelling reasons” for suspending the sentence. The Court had opined, “The testimony of the victim does offer an alternate story of casual relationship with her friends, acquaintances, adventurism and experimentation in sexual encounters and these factors would therefore, offer a compelling reasons to consider the prayer for suspension of sentence favourably particularly when the accused themselves are young and the narrative does not throw up gut wrenching violence, that normally precede or accompany such incidents.”
The order had further made references to the statements of the prosecutrix, explaining that it was necessary to “gain and give an insight into the immature but nefarious world of youngsters unable to comprehend the worth of a relationship based on respect and understanding”.
A careful examination of her statement, the Court had opined, evidenced a “perverse streak” and “offers an alternate conclusion of misadventure stemming from a promiscuous attitude and a voyeuristic mind”.
The Bench had also lamented the tragedy thrown before them, noting that the “entire crass sequence actually is reflective of a degenerative mindset of the youth breeding denigrating relationships mired in drugs, alcohol, casual sexual escapades and a promiscuous and voyeuristic world.”