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1999 sodomy case: Court sets aside convict’s 2-yr jail term

A Delhi court has set aside the two-year jail term awarded to a man for sodomising a child in 1999, while observing that he faced trial for 17 years and prosecution could not show his involvement in similar offences to indicate any proclivity towards sexually deviant behaviour.

District and Sessions Judge Asha Menon set aside the magisterial court order observing, “Though there can be no disagreement with the observation of trial court that the offence of sexual abuse of children are heinous and cannot be viewed lightly, equally the issue of reformation cannot also be overlooked.” 

The court’s order came on the appeal filed by south east Delhi resident Dharmender, guilty of the offence of sodomy under section 377 of the IPC, against the conviction and sentence awarded to him in 2015.

“From the report of the Probation Officer, it appears that after this unfortunate incident, the appellant has moved on a straight path and has been discharging his duties responsibly and taking care of his family, minding his job and keeping cordial relations with the neighbours. 

“The prosecution has not pointed out to his any other involvement in similar offences to indicate any proclivity towards sexually deviant behaviour,” the court said. 
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