New Delhi: A 30-year-old man, accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl while she was asleep, has been sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment by a Delhi court, which said such offences against children are on the rise at “alarming proportion”.

The court held Jagat Ram, a native of Uttar Pradesh, guilty of the offence of sexual assault under a provision of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on him.

“Sexual offences against children are on the rise at alarming proportion. It was felt that sexual offences against children are not adequately addressed by the existing laws and because of that new law i.e. POCSO Act was provided.

“The object of this Act is that offenders should be given adequate penalties which should act as an effective deterrent.

The girl in this case is just aged 13 years.

“Keeping in view the age and past antecedents of the convict, he deserves some leniency in awarding sentence. He is thereby sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for three years
with a fine of Rs 1,000,” Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg said.

According to the prosecution, in May 2013, when the girl was sleeping along with her mother outside her room in Gazipur area here, Ram, who was her neighbour, sexually assaulted her.

The victim raised an alarm and Ram was caught by her parents and other neighbours, who were also sleeping outside, and police was called at the spot. He was arrested.

Ram claimed innocence saying he and his brothers used to deposit money with the girl’s father whenever they used to go to their native place and in May last year, when they demanded their Rs 18,500 back from the minor’s parents, they refused to give the money and also implicated him in a false case.

The court, however, said the statement of the minor was “consistent and trustworthy” and she had specifically deposed how the accused had sexually assaulted her.

The man has failed to prove the contrary as required under the provision of the POCSO Act as his defence was found to be not inspiring confidence.

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