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The jail term of a man who raped a minor was suspended by the Supreme Court, even as he had served only two out of ten years behind the bars.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat ordered for the release of the convict on bail, holding it to be a "fit case for grant of suspension of sentence".
"We are informed by the learned counsel for the petitioner that he has already undergone two years and four months sentence. Heard the learned counsel for the State and perused the material on record. We are of the opinion that this is a fit case for grant of suspension of sentence of the petitioner," said the bench in a recent order.
The convict had appealed against an order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, but his plea was declined twice in 2019.
The last order was passed in October 2019 when it was noted by the High Court that the accused, Gaurav, was sentenced to ten years in jail for repeatedly raping a minor girl.
Gaurav's lawyer maintained that the relationship was consensual. However, the High Court claimed that Gaurav had threatened the girl with making objectionable photographs of her viral.
"Under the threat appellant repeatedly called the prosecutrix at his home and committed sexual intercourse upon her. As per Section 90 of the IPC, the prosecutrix cannot be considered as a consenting party even if she attains the age of majority," the high court had noted as it refused to stay the execution of Gaurav's jail term.
Emphasising that the relationship was consensual along with some alleged medical evidence in support of his contentions, Gaurav challenged this order in the Supreme Court, News18 reported.
The top court has now ordered that Gaurav's jail term be in abeyance till his appeal is decided by the high court.
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