The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that in many judgments in India, courts often adopt a lenient view when it comes to punishing women criminals. The apex court, however ruled that being a woman cannot serve as grounds for lesser punishment in all cases, reported Hindustan Times.

A division bench of Justice Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan was considering an appeal filed by the state of Himachal Pradesh against a judgment of Himachal High Court, wherein the court had spared a jail term of two years awarded by trial to a woman and replaced it with a meagre fine. 

b’Supreme Court/PTI’

What was the entire case?

In August 2000, the said woman had helped a man rob another of Rs 27,000 by administering drinks laced with sedatives. After she was convicted for the offence, she was punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years. 

But keeping in mind the fact that the woman had three kids, two of whom were mentally unsound, the trial court awarded her only two years of jail term. After nine years, the Himachal Pradesh High Court took a further lenient view and totally scrapped the jail term and substituted it just with a fine of Rs 30,000. 

The state government challenged the High Court’s judgement in the Supreme Court.

b’Represenative image/Source: Reuters’

What did the Supreme Court rule?

The Supreme Court made it clear that it was wrong on the part of Himachal Pradesh High Court and absolutely no reason for it to show mercy in the case because the trial court had already done so. 

Stressing that in this world of gender equality, women should be treated at par with men even as regards equal offences committed by them, the court restored the trial court’s previous sentence of two imprisonment to the woman.