New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a petition by the National Commission for Women (NCW) challenging the Delhi High Court order setting free a rapist on the ground that he had "redeemed himself" by clearing the civil service exam while in prison.
The apex court bench of Justice Harjit Singh Bedi and Justice CK Prasad rejected the appeal by the NCW on the ground that it has no locus standi to challenge the high court verdict setting free Ashok Kumar Rai.
The NCW appeal was dismissed after Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran, appearing for the state of Delhi, said that they did not intend to challenge the Delhi High Court verdict.
Rai was convicted and sentenced to life term for raping a 21-year-old who committed suicide in 2003. He used to teach her chemistry as a tutor. Rai was also convicted for abetment to suicide.
The victim in her suicide note said Rai used to give her drugs that made her have sex with him. It was this piece of evidence that the trial court relied upon in convicting and sentencing Rai to life term.
The relationship between the two continued as Rai had promised to marry the victim. However, later, he forced her to have sex with another person. This led to the young woman committing suicide.
The High Court had upheld the conviction of Rai for rape, but absolved him of the charge of abetment to suicide.
The High Court verdict had said: "We concur with the view taken by the trial judge that victim`s consent was obtained under a promise of marriage and that the intention of the appellant from the very beginning was not to marry. The proposed matrimonial bond was nothing but a bait to obtain her consent to have a physical relationship."
While granting remission on account of "good conduct", the high court had said that Rai had already suffered incarceration for five-and-a-half years.
The court said Rai had redeemed himself by appearing in the civil services examination and qualifying for it.
The High Court set him free by reducing his life term to prison term he has already undergone.