New Delhi: A man, who was held guilty of deceitfully marrying and raping a differently-abled woman, has been sent to life imprisonment by a Delhi court which said he ravished the victim physically and mentally knowing well that she was totally dependent upon him.
The court also said that the 36-year-old convict, who in connivance with his first wife had trapped the victim, was a "manipulating man" who tried to take advantage of the woman's "vulnerability" being a handicapped. The convict's wife, who was also an accused in the case, was acquitted by the court.
"In the present matter, the convict not only ravished the prosecutrix physically but also mentally, knowing very well that she is a 'divyang' (handicapped) and is totally dependent upon him," Additional Sessions Judge Devendra Kumar Sharma said while awarding him life term and also imposed a fine of Rs seven lakh on him.
The judge said, "From the act of the convict, it is clear that he is a manipulating man and he tried to take all kind of advantages because of the vulnerability of the prosecutrix being a 'Divyang' and contracted the second marriage, even cohabited with her and established physical relationship..." The court, while taking a stern view, said in such cases there are no mitigating circumstances to take a lenient view while awarding the sentence and "such cases must set an example in society that once there is conviction, there is no undue sympathy while awarding the sentence".
According to the prosecution, the man and his wife had on 30 August, 2010 succeeded in their plot to get him married to the differently-abled woman in order to grab her property. After seeing a matrimonial advertisment posted by victim's father in a newspaper, the couple approached him posing as brother and sister and convinced the family for marriage.
The man after marrying the victim started living with her in her parental house, it said. The man was convicted under sections 376 (rape), 493 (cohabitation by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage), 495 (concealing former marriage), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
The court also directed that half of the fine of Rs 7 lakh imposed on the convict be paid to the victim as compensation. "Any amount of compensation though would not be sufficient to the agony suffered by prosecutrix but at least she will be compensated for the litigation costs which she had incurred in the case as throughout the trial, she was represented through counsel who assisted the court with full diligence. "Therefore, out of the fine amount, 50 per cent amount be given to prosecutrix as compensation/ damages," it said.
The court, while observing that convict left "a permanent scar" not only on the victim but her entire family, also noted that sexual offences against women are rising day-by-day. "These days, the crime of sexual assault on woman/girl is rising day-by-day.
Most of the cases may be genuine where the woman is a victim of heinous crime by a male like forceful physical relationship, blackmailing, relationship on the pretext or upon the false promise of marriage and in some cases to calm down one's lust. "However, the case in hand is totally different and peculiar. In this case, the woman is handicapped. Her parents gave advertisement in a newspaper inviting proposals for her marriage from prospective grooms who were interested in living in the house of her father. Seeing the ad, the man made a plot in his mind. He approached the victim's family and introduced himself as unmarried person," the court noted.
The court accepted the submission of the prosecution that the victim and her family members came to know about the entire criminal episode only when a news was flashed regarding the man's arrest for stealing Rs 80 lakh and a Hyundai I10 car from their house. "Had he not been apprehended in theft case, the victim might have never come to know about the criminal intention of convict," the court said. The police had said that man and his wife, concealed their marriage deceitfully causing the victim to believe that she is lawfully married to the convict though she was not his legally wedded wife.
He cohabited with her and established physical relationship with her, it said. The prosecutor had sought maximum punishment for the man, saying such act is heinous in nature and no leniency should be granted to him while awarding him maximum sentence so that a message should also go to the society that any other person would not get entangled in such type of offences. The convict, while seeking leniency from the court, submitted that he was in custody since 25 October 2013 and his career will be ruined if he is sent to jail.