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SI plea against 10-year RI for rape dismissed

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI Aug. 5. The Madras High Court has upheld the conviction and sentence of 10-year rigorous imprisonment awarded by a trial court to a sub-inspector at Vayampatti (Tiruchirapalli), who was charged with raping a woman in July 1989.

Justice M. Chockalingam held that the rape charge against Rajamanickam was proved by the prosecution. He also upheld the trial court direction that the convicted person pay a compensation of Rs.2 lakhs to the victim.

According to the prosecution, Lakshmi of Vayampatti went to the local police station, where her husband Thekkamalai, had been detained for questioning in connection with a theft case. She pleaded with the SI to leave her husband. He then asked her to wait at a spot near the panchayat union office and later came there in `mufti'. From there, he took her to a lonely spot, where the alleged sexual assault took place. She lodged a complaint with the village elders, who took up the issue with higher officials. In March 2000, the Tiruchi chief judicial magistrate, convicted the SI and imposed the sentence. Mr. Rajamanickam preferred the present appeal, which was dismissed by the High Court. Mr. Justice Chockalingam, however, set aside the trial court direction that Rs.50,000 be given as compensation to Lakshmi's husband. This part of the judgment had no legal basis, the judge said.

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