Bhaggi @ Bhagirath @ Naran vs State of Madhya Pradesh 2024 INSC 82 :: [2024] 2 S.C.R. 111

Indian Penal Code, 1860; Section 376AB – Once the conviction is sustained under Section 376 AB, IPC the fixed term punishment could not be for a period of less than 20 years – when a sentence of imprisonment for a term not less than 20 years which may extend upto life imprisonment is imposed, the convict is also liable to suffer a sentence of fine which shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim. (Para 14,17)

Words and Phrases – Barbaric and Brutal -when the words ‘barbaric’ and ‘brutal’ are used simultaneously they are not to take the character of synonym, but to take distinctive meanings – the fact that the accused had not done the crime brutally will not make its commission non-barbaric. (Para 10)

Summary : According to prosecution, Victim, aged 7 years, was taken to a temple by the convict and there upon making her and himself nude he committed rape – Capital punishment awarded for the conviction under Section 376 AB, IPC was not confirmed by the High Court and it was commuted to imprisonment for life – Partly allowing SLP, SC held: The convict was aged 40 years on the date of occurrence and the victim was then only a girl, aged 7 years. Thus, the position is that he used a lass aged 7 years to satisfy his lust. For that the convict took the victim to a temple, unmindful of the holiness of the place disrobed her and himself and then committed the crime. We have no hesitation to hold that the fact he had not done it brutally will not make its commission non-barbaric -While maintaining the conviction of the petitioner-convict under Section 376 AB, IPC, the sentence imposed thereunder is modified to a sentence of rigorous imprisonment for a term of 30 years, making it clear that this will also include the period of sentence already undergone and the period, if any ordered by the Trial Court for set off. The imprisonment awarded for the conviction under Section 363, IPC shall run concurrently. The amount of fine imposed thereunder shall be added to the fine imposed by us viz., Rupees One Lakh – convict shall not be released from jail before completion of actual sentence of 30 years.

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