A special court in Mumbai has convicted and sentenced a 37-year-old man to 25 years in jail for offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act). He is found guilty of raping his minor daughter multiple times.
Special Judge Bharti Kale announced conviction and sentence while noting that the accused did not deserve leniency for this heinous crime.
The Court noted, “A father lays a foundation of security, trust and love. A father makes his daughter’s life safe and protect her from getting hurt. But victim’s father himself has caused immeasurable pain to her….The accused does not deserve much leniency as offence committed by him is heinous which affects the fabric of life.”
The prosecution submitted that the 13-year-old girl lived with her grandparents, uncle, father, and two younger siblings. As per the submissions, her mother abandoned them 7 years before.
The incident came to the victim’s grandmother’s notice in May 2021 when she questioned the girl regarding her missed menstrual cycle. The girl then told her grandmother that her father had been subjecting her to forceful sexual abuse since previous year. He allegedly raped her at least five times.
The survivor stated that her father used to rape her under the influence of liquor.
The counsel appearing for the accused contended that the family was living in a very tiny house where it is hard for someone to perform such a crime without being caught by others.
It was also claimed that the girl had made a bogus complaint because the father used to stop her from conversing with her male friends. The counsel also mentioned that failure to raise an alarm suggested that such an act didn’t take place.
The Special Court noted that the child’s refusal to raise an alarm did not cast doubt on her evidence since she was sexually assaulted by someone in authority on whom she was reliant. Just because the living space was tiny did not mean that such activities were not feasible, the bench added.
The Court added, “The victim’s failure to raise shouts is mainly for the reason that there is fear in the mind of children that if a close relative commits such nature of acts then what will happen to their life if they resist as the uncertainty of future loom large in their mind. Such kind of fear is real when the children are not protected in their own house and they are.”
It was also noted that the abandonment by mother has made her situation more vulnerable.
“This fear of children is not addressed as they do not know that how they will be protected and cared for as they are not aware that they will get a shelter and an opportunity to lead a normal life,” the bench observed.
Special Court has sentenced him to 25 years of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of ₹20,000 to be paid as compensation to the survivor.