New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to reduce the 10 years imprisonment of two persons for gang raping their minor niece, saying such offence "creates a scar in the marrows of the mind of the victim".
The apex court said rape is an act which is an assault on the human rights of the victim and also "creates an incurable dent in her right and free will and personal sovereignty over the physical frame."
"It has to be borne in mind that an offence of rape is basically an assault on the human rights of a victim. It is an attack on her individuality. It creates an incurable dent in her right and free will and personal sovereignty over the physical frame.
"Everyone in any civilised society has to show respect for the other individual and no individual has any right to invade on physical frame of another in any manner. It is not only an offence but such an act creates a scar in the marrows of the mind of the victim," a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said.
The apex court's observation came while dismissing appeals filed by two Haryana residents, who were paternal and maternal uncles, against their 10 years rigorous imprisonment for raping their 16-year-old neice.
"Anyone who indulges in a crime of such nature not only does he violate the penal provision of the IPC but also right of equality, right of individual identity and in the ultimate eventuality an important aspect of rule of law which is a constitutional commitment.
"The Constitution of India, an organic document, confers rights. It does not condescend or confer any allowance or grant. It recognises rights and the rights are strongly entrenched in the constitutional framework, its ethos and philosophy, subject to certain limitation," the bench also comprising Justice P C Pant said.
The bench said that keeping in mind the gravity of the offence, "reduction of sentence indicating any imaginary special reason would be an anathema to the very concept of rule of law".
"The perpetrators of the crime must realize that when they indulge in such an offence, they really create a concavity in dignity and bodily integrity of an individual which is recognized, assured and affirmed by the very essence of Article 21 of the Constitution," it said.