NEW DELHI - Considering his age, the Supreme Court Friday granted bail to an 87-year-old farmer from Punjab who has challenged his conviction and three-year jail sentence for raping a teenaged girl nearly 20 years ago.
A vacation bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Deepak Verma granted bail to Madho Singh, a farmer from Rajpura in Punjab, after Singh was taken into custody March 19 this year when the Punjab and Haryana High Court endorsed his conviction for raping the 16-year-old girl in September 1990.
As Singh’s counsel Raj Kumar Sehrawat sought to impress upon the apex court that his client was too old to commit the crime and at the age of 87 deserves the court’s mercy, the bench remarked: “But at the time of committing the crime he was 67.”
The court, however, eventually granted interim bail to Singh and issued notice to the Punjab government seeking its reply to Singh’s lawsuit, challenging his conviction.
Endorsing Singh’s conviction, the high court, however, had reduced his sentence to three years from seven years that the trial court had slapped on him in 1992.
The trial court had also imposed a fine of Rs.10,000.
During his trial in Punjab’s sessions court, Singh had pleaded that he was physically not fit to commit the offence. He was medically examined but the report was vague in its findings.