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Never mention the caste or religion of litigant in judgment titles: SC

Never mention the caste or religion of litigant in judgment titles: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed courts not to mention the caste or religion of litigants in judgment titles.

A bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal was hearing the Rajasthan government’s appeal against a High Court order that reduced the sentence of a man held guilty of raping a five-year-old girl, Scroll reported.

Asking why the convict’s caste was mentioned in the judgment, the bench said “An accused has no caste or religion when the court deals with his case.”

The trial court handed life imprisonment to the convict named Gautam, which the High Court reduced to 12 years of imprisonment.

The High Court considered his young age, the fact that he belonged to a poor Scheduled Caste family and not being a habitual offender, alongside mentioning that he had been in jail since May 8, 2014.

The Supreme Court made it clear that caste of an accused person was not a reason to show leniency in such cases, adding a person not being a habitual offender was ‘irrelevant’.

More important, the court said in such offences the financial condition of the accused should not weigh on the court, according to the report.

‘In this case, the victim’s family is from the same economic strata as the respondent,’ the Supreme Court reportedly said.

The bench said the government or legal services authority should arrange counseling when a child is subjected to sexual assault.

“It will help the victim children to come out of the trauma, which will enable them to lead a better life in future,” the bench said.

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