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Life term for raping nurse
Legal Correspondent

Bhura, who got life imprisonment for raping a nurse, at Kadkadduma Court in New Delhi
Bhura (centre), who got life imprisonment for raping a nurse, at Kadkadduma Court in New Delhi on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

New Delhi, May 4
A Delhi court today sentenced to life a city hospital ward boy for brutal rape of a nurse after she strongly rebuked him for his ”indecent” proposal to marry her as a remorse for his crime as she pleaded to the court to give him severest punishment.

Finding the ward boy Bhura of a private hospital, Shanti Mukund, guilty of rape of the nurse when she was on night duty on September 7, 2003, Additional Sessions Judge J M Malik said he did not deserve any mercy.

Also finding him guilty of causing grievous injury to the nurse and of her wrongful confinement, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000. On the failure to pay the same, he would have to undergo further imprisonment of three years.

Earlier, rejecting his marriage proposal, the 22-year-old nurse from Kerala told the court in her affidavit that “the convict has committed a horrendous crime which should not be repeated. After he was found guilt, he is trying to escape the punishment with the bogus offer.”

Though maximum punishment in a rape is 10 years in normal circumstances, the court invoked the provision of Section 376 (d) which says that if the crime is committed in the premises of a hospital on its staff by an official, the punishment could extend up to the life imprisonment.

The nurse was treated with such brutality by the convict that she in the process almost lost her one eye, for which she had to undergo a surgery and was still under treatment.

“He has destroyed my life. How can anyone expect me to marry him,” she asked, pleading that “he be hanged”.

The court though had passed the judgment of conviction on April 29, it had posted the pronouncement of the sentence for today.

But in between, Bhura came out with a strange proposal of marrying the girl and moved an application in the court, contending that he was ready to accept her as his wife as a remorse of his crime and he was a “reformed” man now.

The Judge had summoned the girl to the court to know her view on Bhura’s proposal, which had invoked a public outcry as many human rights and women organisations condemning it.

Putting up a brave front, the nurse not only rejected his proposal, but also pleaded to the court to award him the severest punishment as per the law.

Her counsel Meenakshi Lekhi told the court that the proposal was not only “indecent” but “illegal” and should be outrightly rejected.

The convict had forcibly dragged her to a room of the hospital when she was performing her duty, brutaly assaulted her before rape and left her there unconscious. She was recovered from the said room after three hours of the incident, which had sent shock waves in the city.

Several woman organisations also took exception to the court entertaining his application on the proposed marriage plan, saying “it was nothing but a stunt on his part to escape the severe punishment and get away with a lighter sentence.”

“The courts while deciding criminal matters should not function as marriage bureau for criminals,” CPM leader Brinda Karat said.

Another woman rights activist and noted journalist Madhu Kishwar said “I am appalled how such a question was to be put to a rape victim by the court.”

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