GUWAHATI, April 26 - The All India Legal Aid Cell on Child Rights has decided to challenge a recent order of a lower court of Udalguri, where the latter had convicted two human traffickers under Section 370, a legal provision inserted in the law books post the infamous Nirbhaya incident.
This was the first case of conviction in Assam under the provisions of the newly-inserted Section 370 of the IPC, post Nirbhaya case.
The Legal Cell, which is run by national NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) and is an initiative of National Legal Services Authority, believes that the quantum of punishment served is much less than what it should be keeping the provisions of Section 370 in mind.
The lower Court order had sentenced one of the convicts to three years and six months imprisonment. The second convict in the case too was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of one year and a fine of Rs 5,000.
BBA spokesperson Rakesh Senger, after going through the order, told this reporter that the quantum of punishment is not in accordance with Section 370 and will be challenged in the High Court for enhancement of imprisonment term.
�We have already discussed the matter with our legal experts and the order will be challenged soon,� Senger said.
The Court of Sessions� Judge, Udalguri, in its order, stated, �Having considered the individual role played, the degree of involvement and main role played etc., I sentence convict Bina Rabha to rigorous imprisonment of three years and six months and to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 � in default simple imprisonment for one month for committing offence of attempt to trafficking a young girl punishable under Section 370/511 IPC.
�The convict Benarasi Das is sentenced to RI for one year and to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 in default SI for one month for participating in the offence of attempt to trafficking punishable under Section 370/511 IPC read with Section 34 IPC.�
Criminal lawyer Bijon Kumar Mahajan said, �Section 370(2) IPC provides for a maximum quantum of punishment of 10 years and as such if somebody is convicted for attempting to commit an offence under 372 (2) IPC could have drawn a maximum punishment of five years. Attempt to commit an offence and quantum of punishment for the same is provided in Section 511 of the IPC.�
Another legal expert too is of the opinion that as the quantum of punishment upon conviction in the case in question is of meagre nature, there is scope for filing application in the High Court for enhancement of sentence.