In an unprecedented decision, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered one Nishan Singh Brar, convicted of abduction and rape of a minor victim girl, and his mother Navjot Kaur to pay Rs 90 lakh towards compensation.
Nishan Singh has already been convicted by the trial court and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The court ordered Nishan Singh to pay Rs 50 lakh to the victim whereas, Rs 20 lakh each to victim’s mother and father. The bench of Justice AB Chaudhari and Justice Inderjit Singh was hearing an application filed by the rape victim’s father seeking compensation.
The complainant in this case (father of the victim) filed an FIR dated September 24, 2012 under Sections 452, 307, 363, 366-A, 376, 325, 323, 482, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B, 212, 216 read with Section 149 of Indian Penal Code, and an FIR dated June 25, 2012, under Sections 363, 366-A, 376, 120-B, 384, 328, 506, read with Section 34 IPC, at Faridkot city police station.
In the said FIR it was stated that Nishan Singh, along with a few of his companions, barged into the house of the complainant armed with “pistol, kirches, kirpans and iron rods and tried to forcibly take away the victim with them”.
According to the complainant, he, along with his wife and other daughter, tried to stop them but they were beaten up. Thereafter, the accused dragged the complainant in the courtyard and assaulted him with rods resulting in severe injuries.
Even then the complainant and his other daughter chased the accused and raised an alarm, but when one of the companions of Nishan Singh fired a few shots from his pistol, the complainant stopped.
The complainant had stated that Navjot Kaur, Nishan Singh’s mother, and others had actively participated in the kidnapping and abduction of the minor victim girl. The complainant and his wife were admitted to the hospital. On October 21, 2012, Nishan Singh was finally intercepted by a Special Investigation Team in Goa.
The victim girl deposed that Nishan Singh had raped her and she was found to be pregnant. A medical termination of pregnancy was also performed.
At the very outset, the court noted that there were three victims in this incident, the victim and both her parents. The court said: “Court is convinced that the highest amount of compensation will have to be paid to the prosecutrix and thereafter, the remaining two victims also will have to be compensated by an order of compensation under Section 357 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.”
Referring to the details of the abduction and rape of the minor girl, the court observed:
“The portion quoted by us above throws light on the nature of the beastly actions on the part of the appellant-Nishan Singh and his family members in destroying the personality of minor girl prosecutrix 'S' and also subjecting her to pregnancy. The two incidents as stated in the facts above and the grisly acts committed by the appellant-Nishan Singh, his relative Maninderjit Singh alias Dimpy Samra and his mother Navjot Kaur clearly show as to what kind mental torture/trauma, social stigma etc. must have been undergone by the prosecutrix 'S' as well as her parents.
The pregnancy was required to be terminated by medical termination of pregnancy and this fact became to known one and all in the city of Faridkot and also to the community of the complainant-Ashwani Kumar Sachdeva. Thus, the prosecutrix was completely ravaged because of the repeated beastly acts by the appellant Nishan Singh, his relative Maninderjit Singh alias Dimpy Samra and his mother Navjot Kaur.”
The court then relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Ankush Shivaji Gaikwad versus State of Maharashtra, and directed the accused Nishan Singh and his mother to pay Rs 90 lakh as compensation.
“We are aghast to see how a middle-class family of the complainant with two daughters was torn into due to rich rural and urban landholder Nishan Singh's and his mother's rowdy and cruel conduct,” the court said.
Read the Order Here