The Supreme Court has ruled that since women are competing with men in the world of crime, they are not entitled for lesser punishment.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, the apex court made this observation while setting aside Himachal Pradesh High Court's order sparing jail term to a woman convicted of attempted murder.
The Supreme Court bench comprising justice AK Sikri and justice RK Agrawal pointed out that international jurists have also underlined that in this world of gender equality, women should be treated at par with men if they have committed equal offences.
“Women are competing (with) men in the criminal world; they are emulating them in all the crimes; and even surpassing men at times. Therefore, concept of criminal justice is not necessarily synonymous with social justice,” the bench said.
The case related to a woman who was sentenced to two years of jail by a trail court in Himachal Pradesh with a fine of Rs 6,000.
The woman had helped a man rob another of Rs 27,000 by administering drinks laced with sedatives in August 2000.
She was convicted for the offence, punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years, but the trial court took a lenient view by awarding her only two years of jail term, keeping in mind the fact that the woman had three kids, two of whom were mentally unsound.
After nine years, the Himachal Pradesh High Court took a further lenient view and erased the jail term and substituted it with a fine of Rs 30,000.
The state government challenged the High Court’s judgement in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court made it clear that it was erroneous on the part of Himachal Pradesh High Court to further show leniency in the case because the trial court had already done so.