While sentencing two men who robbed a 70-year-old woman who earned a living running a shop near her home to ten years' rigorous imprisonment, a Sessions court here has opined that Parliament should legislate for providing death penalty in cases where senior citizens are the victims. The convicts tracked the daily routine of the victim who was living alone, then blindfolded her, confined her to a bathroom, and then robbed her. Both men were convicted under Section 392 of IPC which provides a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar wrote in his order: “Day and night, senior citizens are being targeted by criminals. We cannot say that senior citizens are completely safe. The State is duty-bound to ensure their safety. With regard to the gravity of sexual offences, the legislature has taken steps to provide for stricter punishment for the criminals. This court feels that our wise representatives in Parliament should provide for capital punishment in such cases, and also where senior citizens are the victims, so as to teach a lesson to the offenders and to deter others from indulging in crime against senior citizens.”

Explaining the rationale for this, the judge said that the law has to change with the passage of time. “Its object is to maintain peace in the society and punish the wrongdoers. If the present remedy to prevent or curb the crime is inadequate, concerned authorities have to ponder over a better remedy. Even a doctor would enhance the dose of the drug to provide relief to his patient. After all, epidemics require urgent and serious remedies,” Mr. Kumar said.

According to the prosecution, the convicts removed from the victim's person earrings, bangles, a ring and a chain and also took Rs.70,000-75,000 and two necklaces from the house. She was saved by the timely arrival of her son, residing nearby, who tried to nab the convicts but failed. However, the defence argued that no recovery of the robbed items was effected from the accused.