New Delhi: A senior officer of the National Human Rights Commission, convicted for raping and deceitfully marrying a widow after concealing his first wedlock, has been awarded seven years jail by a Delhi court which observed that his "high social status" has made the offence more serious.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Virender Bhatt convicted the man, a gazetted officer of NHRC, for offences punishable under sections 376 (rape) and 493 (cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage) of IPC.
"The fact that the convict is a Gazetted Officer serving in NHRC and the son of a retired Assistant Registrar of High Court makes the offence committed by him more serious. The persons like the convict are expected to exhibit a moral character of the highest degree and serve as an example in the society," the judge said.
"If a person occupying such a high social status in the society as that of the convict resorts to offence of rape by sexually victimising a widowed lady, he cannot be heard to claim any kind of leniency," the court, which also imposed a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh on the convict, said.
The order came in a case in which the victim had alleged that the convict had established physical relations with her and married her by concealing from her his first marriage and two kids.
The woman said the man, who was a friend of her husband, married her while she was a widow.
The court, in its judgement, noted that despite being happily married and having kids, he was "over-powered by excessive erotic desire" and approached the victim soon after the death of her husband.
"The acts of the convict are totally unpardonable. He found a soft target in the prosecutrix who was a widow and socially weak and thus sexually victimised her by deceitfully inducing a belief in her that they are a lawful married couple," the judge said.