A Mumbai POCSO Court recently convicted a man under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for the grooming of a minor girl.
Sexual grooming is when a person engages in predatory conduct to prepare a child or young person for sexual activity at a later time.
Observing that sexual offences against children would affect the mental health and future of the victim, the Special POCSO judge Priya Bankar convicted the man and sentenced him to 6 months imprisonment.
In the complaint, 15-year-old victim submitted that the accused was approaching her on her way home. On 7 January 2019, the girl was returning to home from school at about 10.30 am to 11 am. The accused followed her and asked her to take a pen. On the next day, he offered her a book.
The girl told about the same to her family after which her mother accompanied her for 2 days. During these two days, the accused was not seen. Then again on 10 Jan 2019, the accused followed the minor. She informed her mother and uncle about him and they found the accused there and registered a complaint thereafter.
The order stated, “Said act of the accused definitely shows that he has a sexual intent and therefore he has followed the 15 years old girl and was offering pen and book only to interact with her and to develop the relationship by offering the articles. It was the process of grooming the child for his sexual intent. Otherwise also, there is absolutely no explanation from the accused why he was trying to contact the minor victim girl at the relevant time.”
The bench noted that the accused kept trying to give her pen and book despite the fact that the victim had shown disinterest.
The bench noted, “The victim is 15 years old, school going child. The accused was 40 years old. So, looking to the age difference between victim and accused, there was no need to the accused to offer the victim a pen or book and even to contact her and to follow her. The said act of the accused itself sufficient to show his sexual intent.”
“There is very adverse impact of the incident on victim, on her family members and even on the society. Such type of incident, is going to affect the mental health and future of the minor victim,” the bench said.