Social impact of the crime against women requires “exemplary treatment” to be meted out to the accused, said the Bombay high court (HC) on Friday while refusing to reduce the life term to six-year imprisonment to a Mumbaikar for attempting to kill his girlfriend six years ago, who had also refused to marry him, despite being in an intimate relationship for two years.
“We are conscious that the social impact of the crime against women cannot be lost sight of and per se require exemplary treatment,” said the two-member HC bench, comprising Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik, while rejecting the prayer of the convict, Arumugum Arundatiyar, to reduce his life term to six years imprisonment, which he had already served.
Earlier, Mumbai sessions court had sentenced Arundatiyar to a life term.
The prosecution argued that Arundatiyar was seeing the young woman, who worked as a baby-sitter, and wanted to marry her.
She, however, had refused to marry him, as her family was opposed to the match, following which Arundatiyar had assaulted her twice because she had spurned his proposal.
On May 8, 2014, when the victim was returning home from work by an auto-rickshaw, Arundatiyar barged into the vehicle.
He threatened the auto-driver with a knife and pulled her out of the vehicle. Arundatiyar attacked her with the knife in public. He stabbed her on the neck and also threatened the public, who had tried to intervene.
Though he had fled from the scene of the crime, he was arrested after a while.
Arundatiyar appealed against the sessions court verdict and move HC.
His counsel, advocate Aniket Vagal, pleaded before HC that the injuries caused to the woman were not life-threatening and the incident took place because she had refused to marry him, even they were in an intimate relationship for two years.
Vagal also cited that Arundatiyar was only 25 years old when he had committed the crime and had little financial means.
He argued that the sentence was grossly disproportionate to the crime, especially when the injuries were not life-threatening, and urged the court to let Arundatiyar off since he had served six years in prison.
HC, however, refused to show any sympathy to the convict.
The bench said any liberal approach by imposing meagre sentences or taking a lenient view of the crimes against women would be counter-productive in the long run and against societal interests.
But, HC found life imprisonment to be too harsh and reduced Arundatiyar’s sentence to 10 years, of which he needed to serve another four years.
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