The Supreme Court of India observed that women criminals can be shown leniency while hearing a case involving a woman accused of robbing.
The woman with three minor children to support would be a ground for courts to impose a lenient sentence on her, the apex court observed, reported The Times of India.
The accused had helped a man rob Rs 27,000 by mixing sedatives in drinks in August 2000. Subsequently, the victim was beaten up and left at a place near Himachal's Dalhousie.
A court convicted the woman for the offence, which is punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years, the report adds.
After observing that the woman had three children, two of them mentally unsound, Chamba trial court awarded a sentence of two years in jail to her with a fine of Rs 6,000 in 2003. After nine years, her sentence was erased and imposed with a fine of Rs 30,000 in further lenient view.
Against which the state government appealed in the apex court.
Recently, through separate judgements, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan agreed that slight leniency for women criminals was justified in the Indian context but it should not be up to an extent that the trial court's already lenient two-year sentence is completely erased.
Similarly, in UK, judges were advised to become more lenient towards women criminals as they are more likely to have mental health or educational difficulties and to have parenting responsibilities, reported The Telegraph.
According to the Equal Treatment Bench Book, published by the Judicial Studies Board (JSB), Judges ought to "bear these matters in mind" when passing sentence.