New Delhi: Observing that policemen should
be given harsher punishment for criminal acts, the Supreme
Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on CBI`s plea for
enhancing the punishment to three policemen who chopped of a
man`s private parts.
A Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur said
policemen need to be given a harsher punishment as otherwise
the entire society will crumble and there will be utter
"You are policemen and supposed to be the protector of
the people. So, you have to be given harsher punishment for
your crime as otherwise the entire society will crumble and
lawlessness will prevail.
"As human beings, we ought to have self control.
Otherwise, what is the difference between human beings and
animals?" the Bench told senior counsel K T S Tulsi and Rakesh
Dwivedi appearing for the accused police personnel.
CBI said that in 1994 SHO Sohan Singh, ASI Sumer Dhan and
constable Kishore Singh took the victim Jugat Ram, an employee
with a businessman, to the police station and chopped off his
penis after subjecting him to torture in Rajasthan`s Barmer
The trial court awarded life imprisonment to all the
three policemen under Section 326 IPC(causing grievous hurt).
However, on an appeal from the accused, the Rajasthan
High Court acquitted Sumer Dhan and Sohan Singh on the ground
that there was no evidence against them, while reducing the
sentence of Kishore Singh to four years.
Aggrieved by the High Court order, CBI has appealed in
the apex court.
The police personnel it was alleged, committed the
gruesome act at the instance of the employer Bhairav Singh, a
relative of Kishore Singh, as the victim had developed illicit
relationship with the latter`s wife and daughter.
The Bench rejected the argument of the counsel that there
was no evidence in the form of an independent witness to
establish their guilt.
"You are all policemen. You have chopped of the penis of
a man after bringing him into the police station. How do you
expect some independent witness to speak against you
policemen? And mind you, it was chopped off with the help of a
barber`s razor. So, do you(cops) carry barber`s knives in the
police station too?" the Bench said as the entire court hall
burst into a laughter.
The apex court brushed the plea of Tulsi that the act was
committed under a grave and suddent provocation.
"You took the man into custody for three days, extracted
the confession that he was having the illicit affair and then
chopped off his penis. How can it be a case of grave
"We can understand if the man had shot dead the victim,
if he had found his spouse in a compromising position. But
that was not the case here," the Bench said.
Counsel for the accused pleaded that the act was
committed as one of the policemen was related to Bhairav
Singh and it was a question of maintaining the family honour
and erase social stigma.
It was also submitted that the victim had, during the
trial, also admitted to the illicit relationship with his
employer`s wife and daughter.
"Just because you are policemen, you can`t do like
this. Today, you will chop somebody`s penis, tomorrow you
will chop off someone`s head. You can go to any extent. There
has to be a strong and deterrent punishment," the Bench said
while reserving its judgement.