JAMMU, Mar 30: Principal Sessions Judge Reasi S R Gandhi today awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment to Subash Chander, son of Durga Dass of Reasi, who was facing trial in a rape case.
After hearing Public Prosecutor Rashi Baru for the State whereas Advocate PD Singh for the accused, Principal Sessions Judge observed, “this court has come across the rape cases including this case in which the Panchayat has tried to settle and hush up such cases at the village level thereby usurping the judicial powers”.
“In this case Panchayat had settled the case with the condition that accused shall bear the expenses for the marriage of the prosecutrix. It is no part of their function to take cognizance of cases which involves moral turpitude, grave offences like rape etc inasmuch as such offences are not restricted to two individuals”, the court said, adding “it may send wrong signal to the society and may adversely affect it. Rather it amounts to interference in the administration of justice”.
“Such practice needs to be curbed by taking remedial steps. It would be welcome step in case the village Panchayats could make endeavor to settle the compoundable cases at their level”, the court further said.
With these observations, court ordered that Subhash Chander shall undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years.