Mumbai: A special court designated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act sentenced a 53-year-old man to ten years in jail for sexually assaulting a 2.5-year-old child from his neighbourhood. Though the child’s testimony could not be taken as she was too young during the incident, the court considered a DNA report to nail the man.
Semen stains had been found on the man's innerwear including his vest (baniyan) and on the child’s innerwear and top as well. The man’s blood sample was taken for DNA profiling and the report showed that semen found on these clothes matched that of his blood sample, indicating that the DNA profiles are identical and from the same origin. Special judge SM Takalikar also considered the child's medical report which showed injury on her private part.
Court relied on the testimony of the child’s mother
The proof of birth date of the child was not available as the birth had taken place in the family's native place. The court however considered that the defence had not challenged the birth date and instead, accepted it during the cross-examination of a witness during the trial. Further, the court relied on the testimony of the child’s mother, as the child was very young at the time of the incident to understand what happened then or to remember it.
The incident had taken place in November 2015. The mother found the child missing and raised an alarm after which the man opened his door and left the child outside his home. The child began crying loudly and held her hand tightly over her genitals. Suspicious, the mother took her home and checked her innerwear and private parts, upon which her fear was confirmed. Neighbours gathered and beat up the man and a police complaint was lodged.
Before sentencing, the court heard that the accused had been in jail for seven years. His advocate sought leniency stating he has four children, an ailing wife and is the only breadwinner. The court said considering the nature of the offence and his age, the punishment would suffice.
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