A man found guilty of committing rape on his minor niece resulting in the girl getting pregnant and then suffering a natural abortion has been awarded life imprisonment by a Delhi court which also directed the government to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation to the victim.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau sentenced 29-year-old Tara Chand, a native of Uttarakhand and the father of a minor son, to life in jail and a fine of Rs 10,000 for raping his minor niece after consuming alcohol.
"Convict Tara Chand had been regularly and unashamedly raping his own niece hardly aged 13-14 years after voluntarily consuming alcohol.
"Not only did he violate the body of child but he also tormented her mentally and played treachery with the family of the child who had given him shelter. Let alone leniency he deserves exemplary punishment," the court said, noting the case related to "intra familial sex abuse."
Observing that the act of the convict is unpardonable, the court said, "as per the official statistics a total of 568 cases of rape have been reported in Delhi alone in 2011 out of which only 2 per cent have been committed by strangers."
The judge also directed the Delhi government to grant a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the victim, studying in class 6th, to provide her "restorative and compensatory justice".
Chand was the maternal uncle of the victim and had come to Delhi nearly five months prior to the incident in search of work. Due to his poor economic condition, the girl's father helped him get a job at the hotel where he was a cook and also allowed him to stay with them in their one room rented accommodation in North West Delhi.
The convict used to sleep in the same room as the victim and her parents.
Chand used to consume alcohol daily with the father of the victim, whose mother was a patient of depression addicted to sleeping pills. Taking advantage of the situation he used to sexually exploit the girl after taking her to an adjoining vacant room.
On one occasion, the girl told her mother about Chand's ill-intentions but she refused to believe her.
On May 1, 2012, the girl complained of stomach pain and her father took her to a hospital. Medical examination revealed that the girl was pregnant and had suffered a natural abortion. She then informed the doctors about being sexually exploited and a case was lodged against Chand after which he was arrested.
The DNA of the aborted foetus matched with that of Chand.
During arguments on quantum of sentence, Chand pleaded leniency on the ground that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of incident and was incapable of understanding the nature of his acts.
Rejecting his plea, Mr Lau said, "A person cannot be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong and hence convict Tara Chand cannot turn around to claim that his acts were outcome of whatever he was consuming being freely available in the market."
Stemming from Chand's plea for leniency, the court highlighted that "based on Global Scientific Research which proves that there are linkages between patrons of alcohol abuse and crime. Alcohol is by a wide margin, the biggest law enforcement problem world-over."
Citing examples from the USA and several Islamic countries where consumption of alcohol and beverages with high alcohol contents and caffeinated alcoholic beverages have been banned respectively, the judge said, "Consumption of certain alcohol beverages (particularly laced with Caffeine) cause an aggressive behaviour."
"Scientific research has also proved that alcohol with coverage of Nicotine and Caffeine has an extremely harmful effect on human body."
The court said that the most violent crimes, including crimes of sexual nature, have a connection with substance abuse especially illicit alcohol spiked with caffeine and nicotine by bootleggers.
It said in such circumstances, it would be "imperative for the authorities to check the demand and supply of illicit liquor in the country".