In Uttar Pradesh, a carriage of misjustice

The infamous insensitivity of kangaroo courts in Uttar Pradesh to pronounce bizarre and unjust orders hit a new low after a panchayat fined one of its former members a mere Rs 2,000 for raping a woman and to rub salt into wounds, decided to keep the money to buy utensils for public functions in the village.

The  panchayat at Karmel village in Uttar Pradesh’s backward Deoria district, about 350 km from here, reportedly let a rape accused go scot-free after imposing a fine of Rs 2,000 on him for the offence.

Horrifying as the decision was for the victim, worse was in store.

The panchayat did not award the money to her, but mandated that it would be used for financing social events in the village. According to reports, a few days ago, a former member of the panchayat barged into the house of the victim and allegedly molested her. He was however caught by the members of the victim’s family.

However, instead of summoning the police and handing over the culprit to it, the village elders decided to convene a panchayat to deliberate on the punishment for the alleged rapist.

The accused, during the panchayat held on Friday last, confessed to his crime. The panchayat members, however, decided to settle the matter by ordering the culprit to pay a fine of Rs 2,000.

It was also decided that the money would not be given to the victim and would be utilised for buying the utensils for the panchayat so that they could be used in case of public functions or be given to the families of the village on the occasion of weddings and other programmes, reports said.

The accused quickly paid the fine and was allowed to go scot free. The victim and her family, however, remained silent fearing the consequences of refusal to abide by the decision of the panchayat.

The local police said that they was looking into the matter, adding that no report had been lodged with them in this connection so far.

The panchayats in UP are known for pronouncing outlandish orders.

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