Mumbai: In a society like India, no parents would falsely implicate any person claiming that their minor daughter was sexually assaulted, the Bombay High Court has said while upholding the conviction of a man in a case of sexual assault on a girl. Justice A M Badar on July 31 dismissed an appeal filed by Rajendra Bhima Asudeo, challenging a special court’s order of February 2014 sentencing him to 10 years in jail for sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Pune.
Asudeo was convicted under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). In his appeal, the convict claimed innocence and said he was implicated in the case by the family of the girl at the behest of a local politician who had an enmity with him. The high court, however, refused to accept the contention.
“In the Indian setting, it does not stand to reason that the victim’s parents, who have no enmity against the appellant (Asudeo), would falsely implicate him in an offence of aggravated penetrative sexual assault on their minor daughter at the instance of someone else,” Justice Badar said. “The said incident reflects on the chastity of their teenage daughter, which may harm the prospects of marriage, apart from damage to the honour of the family,” the court said.
Hence, it was not possible to accept the appellant’s claim that he was falsely implicated in the case, the court said. According to the prosecution, in March 2013, the convict, who used to reside in the same building in Pune as the victim, accosted the girl near his house and molested her. In her statement, the victim told the police and the court that the convict had sexually assaulted her on more than one occasion and threatened her with dire consequences if she told anyone about it.
A few days after the March 2013 incident, the girl told her mother about it, following which an FIR was lodged and the convict was arrested. The prosecution examined five witnesses, including the victim, to prove its case against the convict.