17 Jan 2005

Fiji parent fined for sons' sacrilege of Hindu temple

11:53 am on 17 January 2005

In a landmark ruling in Fiji, a magistrate has fined the father of two juveniles convicted of the sacrilege of a Hindu temple.

The Fiji Times reports that Juvenile Court magistrate, Ajmal Khan, ruled that the father of twin 16-year old boys was directly responsible for their actions because he did not bring them up to respect other people's religions and belongings.

The two boys were charged with burglary, housebreaking and sacrilege for burning holy books inside a Hindu temple near Suva and sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for two years.

But their father was fined, part of which had to be paid to the temple.

Magistrate Khan said he exercised his powers under a seldom-used provision of the Juvenile Act under which parents are held responsible for the actions of their younger children.

Mr Khan said the father seems to have thought that taking care of his children was the state's responsibility.