A British journalist violently raped in India spoke of her ‘huge relief’ today as a court ordered her attacker back to prison.
Guest house manager Parbat Singh was jailed for 21 years after being found guilty of the brutal attack, but then released on bail three months into his sentence.
Today the Supreme Court in Delhi found that due to the seriousness of his crime he should never have been released.
The woman, who does not want to be named, suffered convulsions for days after her ordeal.
She said: “It’s just a huge relief. It gives me a bit of space to breathe because I have been fighting in a court room for a year. That doesn’t sound like a long time in Indian justice but a year is quite a fight.
“It shouldn’t just be about being foreign and a tourist, it’s about justice for any woman.
“I’m just relieved that he will be back behind bars and not working with tourists.”
A warrant has been issued for Singh’s arrest and he is expected to be back in prison within the next few days.
The woman’s lawyer Vikram Chaudhri said: “The court took into account that he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the heinous crime of rape.
“It amounted to rewarding a convict who had been found guilty and sentenced to the maximum term, then casually granted bail.”
The British victim was attacked on Christmas Eve 2007 in Rajasthan, and said she struggled to get police and doctors to take her claim seriously.
At one point state prosecutors even failed to attend a court hearing.
Two months later Scarlett Keeling, 15, was raped and murdered in Goa, and concerns were raised about the safety of Western tourists in the country.
Rape is the fastest growing crime in India, according to government statistics released early last year.
Today the Prime Minister’s wife Gursharan Kaur was expected to launch a new awareness campaign about sexual violence against women.
Singh is appealing against his conviction, which the Supreme Court recommended be expedited after today’s decision.
Chaudhri said it was up to the High Court to decide when the case would be heard.
The woman said he had continued running a restaurant in Udaipur, the Nayan Palace, and had lived with his German tourist guide girlfriend since being released.