The Bombay High Court on Monday upheld the Constitutional validity of an amended section of the Indian Penal Code that deals with repeat offenders in rape cases, Mumbai Mirror reported.
Section 376E of the Indian Penal Code states that a repeat rape offender should be jailed for life or sentenced to death. The amendment was introduced in 2013, after the 2012 Delhi gang rape.
In April 2014, a Mumbai sessions court awarded the death penalty to three repeat offenders in the gangrapes of two women in the Shakti Mills compound the previous year. The ruling marked the first instance in which the death penalty was given under Section 376E of the Indian Penal Code. The three were sentenced to death on the grounds that they were repeat offenders in two gang rapes, of a telephone operator and a photojournalist. These attacks took place in a deserted mill compound in July and August 2013.
A division bench of Justices BP Dharmadhikari and Revati Mohite Dere on Monday dismissed the petitions filed by these three people challenging the validity of the IPC Section under which they were sentenced to death.
“We are of the opinion that section 376 (e) of the IPC is not ultra vires to the Constitution and hence need not be quashed in the present case,” the court said, according to PTI.
The state had supported the amendment and said that rape should be treated as the gravest offence, even if it did not result in death, LiveLaw reported. The government had said rape was not just a physical attack and that affects the rest of the victim’s life.