Old age no ground for token sentence in sexual offence: Court

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Old age cannot be a factor for awarding token jail sentence in a sexual offence case, a Delhi court has said.

The court, which was dealing with a case in which a six- year-old girl was disrobed and molested by her 61-year-old neighbour, said a token sentence, which is awarded just for the sake of punishment, will not fit in the offence of sexual assault.

Old age and clean antecedents can at the best be relevant for reducing the punishment but not a ground to allow a convict walk free after serving a token punishment, like sentenced till the rising of the court or the end of the day’s working hours, the judge said.

“No doubt, the old age and clean antecedents of the appellant are relevant factors to determine the quantum of sentence, but considering the fact that the appellant had outraged the modesty of a minor child, I am of the considered opinion that the plea is not sufficient to impose the token sentence, but certainly relevant to reduce the sentence,” Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain said.

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