Mumbai: A special court on Thursday sentenced a 33-year-old construction worker to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment for sexually assaulting a five-year-old child of his neighbourhood in 2016.
It also imposed a fine of over Rs. 30,000 on the man. In default of the payment, he would have to spend another six months in jail. The court also directed that the fine amount be given to the mother of the victim, to be accepted as compensation on his behalf.
In the judgment, special judge Kalpana Patil designated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act observed that when the victim was asked during his testimony in court, if he can identify the accused, he said he would do so through a photo. When he was asked why, he had said that he was afraid (of the man). Judge Patil noted regarding this, that it shows the incident had deeply impacted his mind.
The incident took place on Feb 2, 2016, in Wadala. Around 3.30 pm the child had gone outside to play. He returned home crying in half an hour and told his mother that the man, who he addresses as ‘chacha’ had forcibly taken him to his room, bolted the door and committed the act on him. During his testimony in court, he said that he had tried to raise an alarm, but showed how the man had pressed his hand over his mouth. The mother of the child had also testified and said she had found her son’s private part bleeding when he came home crying after the assault.
The man had requested for leniency after being found guilty and told the court that he is poor, the only earning member of his family and that he had already spent six years in prison. The prosecution had told the court that the child was only five years at the time of the incident and had suffered mental trauma due to it, thus that leniency not be shown. The court said it considered both submissions, the facts and circumstances of the case and proceeded to sentence the man to a ten-year jail term. The time the man has spent as an undertrial in prison, will be deducted from his sentence.