Tuensang: Court sentences 8 women to 1-year jail term

DIMAPUR, APR 29 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/29/2021 1:10:08 PM IST

 In connection with outraging the modesty of a woman by a group of women in Tuensang in 2018, the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class Tuensang has convicted eight women for one year simple imprisonment and fine of Rs 3000 for commission of an offence under various sections of IPC.

The eight convicted accused have been identified as Thritingla, Tsarila, Pongchingsonla, Tsiyupila, Livila, Chemtila, Yangtsalila and Chonglitsala.

Pronouncing sentence, the court observed that the victim had an extra marital affair, but the village folks took matters into their own hands and meted out inhumane justice in their kangaroo court. “This is a case where the village folk asserting the so called rights given unto them by the customary law, outraged the modesty of the victim in the most barbaric fashion,” the court noted.

The court also noted that the village folk chose to punish the victim through their kangaroo Court. “It is such an inconceivable fact to even think that the women folk would go to the extent of chopping off a lady’s hair, stripping her and parade her naked on the roadside,” the court further noted.

The accused persons in their guilty statements stated that in 2018, the women folk of the village passed a resolution wherein they decided to punish adulterous women as per customary practices.

However, the court remarked that the misconceived notion of empowering oneself with the so called “village resolutions” to do barbaric acts should be avoided at all cost.

Admitting that Article 371A recognised the customary practices of the Nagas, the court, however, said that under the guise of Article 371A, if all the village folks invoked laws that uncultured civilisations practised, there would be total breakdown of law and order situation in the society.

Further, the court agreed to some extent that the villagers were naive and ignorant of the codified Indian Criminal Laws. However, the court said that criminal jurisprudence makes ignorance of law no excuse since an accused may always take the plea that he was unaware of the law in question to avoid criminal liability.

Therefore, the court noted that distressing acts committed by the accused persons cannot be said to be practices, which were socially acceptable, and the accused persons cannot take refuge under the protection given in Art 371A.

Considering the societal interests, the court deemed it necessary to impose sentences upon the convicts so it could act as a deterrence to the convicts as well as the society at large in taking law into their own hands.

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