Mumbai: Observing that the mere fact of the DNA report favouring the accused, it cannot be held that he had not repeatedly sexually assaulted his minor niece, a special court considered the victim’s steadfast testimony against her 46-year-old uncle among other circumstances on record, while sentencing the man to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment.
The motherless minor had been sent by her father to his brother’s home in Kandivali from a neighbouring state to see Mumbai and help with household chores. The victim was 26 weeks pregnant when the matter came to light and she delivered a male child.
DNA report negative
The DNA report for which samples were collected from the infant and the accused, had excluded him from being the father. “The necessary weightage will have to be given to the other oral and documentary evidence on the record,” it said.
Referring to the victim’s testimony, Special Judge Sameer Ansari said a woman in a tradition-bound society of India is extremely reluctant to admit to any incident likely to reflect upon her chastity.
“This is because, in a patriarchal society as in our country, everyone is quick to blame the girl or woman involved in any incident of rape rather than hold the accused responsible for the said heinous crime. The fact that the victim remained steadfast on her contentions, which could not be falsified, and was willing to face any consequences for the said assertions, which assertions also find corroboration from the other circumstances on the record, in my view, indicates the fact of the case of the prosecution is true,” the judgment stated.
Man seeks leniency
The man had sought leniency on the ground that he had been in prison since 2016. Judge Ansari noted in the 46-page judgment, that the victim had not even reached the age of 16 years when the accused repeatedly subjected her to intercourse for satisfying his lust.
“The effect which the said act would have had on her can therefore scarcely be imagined. Such an accused, therefore, does not at all merit any leniency,” the order stated.
The court said that he had committed a “very serious offence” when the teen was in his guardianship for a short time and added that he had “abused her trust”. The victim had stayed in his home between April and November 2016. He would sexually assault her when he found her alone at home, at night or when his wife was out of the station and only two younger children were asleep. He had threatened to harm her young cousin if she revealed anything. Though the teen had told her uncle’s wife about it, she had shut her down and not believed the allegations against her husband.
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