Rape accused should not go scot-free, SC tells courts

Echoing concerns over “devastating” increase in crime against women, the Supreme Court said here on Friday that courts should be cautious to ensure that rape accused did not escape punishment on frivolous grounds.

A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi awarded life term to Munesh, a  Uttar Pradesh resident, setting aside a Allahabad High Court judgment acquitting him of the offence of rape and murder of the 11-year-old victim.

Saying that it is for the courts to see that offenders “do not get released,” the Bench said: “The primary concern, both at national and international level, is about the devastating increase in rape cases and cases relating to crime against women in the world. India is no exception to it. “Although the statutory provisions provide strict penal action against such offenders, it is for the courts to ultimately decide whether such incident has occurred or not.

The courts should be more cautious in appreciating the evidence and the accused should not be left scot-free merely on flimsy grounds,” the Bench said.

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