The Delhi High Court has upheld the life imprisonment awarded to a driver, who ferried school children, for raping a minor girl for 20-25 days, saying the sentence was not disproportionate or harsh as he had repeatedly assaulted her and made her pregnant.
A bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Mukta Gupta dismissed the appeal of Pappu Singh, who was married and would take the victim to school in his tempo along with other children, against his conviction and punishment by the trial court.
"The aggravating fact would be that the appellant repeatedly made the minor prosecutrix the object of his lust. He repeatedly raped her over 20-25 days and made her pregnant.
"Being a married person he would have known that repeated sex with the prosecutrix would make her pregnant which would have an adverse impact on physical health of the prosecutrix; not to belittle the mental trauma caused by the appellant on the prosecutrix who was made to yield herself to the lust of the appellant under fear of being killed," the bench said.
"We do not find the sentence disproportionate or harsh. The appeal is dismissed," it added. The victim, a class VII student, was raped by Singh starting from April 10, 2012, and was threatened not to tell anyone about the same if she wanted to live, the prosecution had said.
The victim used to be the first student to board the tempo and she was first raped on April 10, 2012 by Singh in his house after her mother had left her there to go to the school.