The Bombay High Court has dismissed an application filed by the mother of a 15-year-old victim seeking enhancement of sentence awarded to a man who was convicted for stalking the minor.
Justice Bharti Dangre, on October 23, dismissed the mother’s plea wherein she has sought enhancement of the sentence awarded to a 30-year-old man.
On August 8, 2022, the special judge under The Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act, 2012, (POCSO) found man guilty for sexual harassment under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and POCSO. The POCSO court found that on a particular day, the man had followed her, held her hand, and expressed his feelings towards her.
The Special Court also noted that an offence under Section 12 of the POCSO Act was established. However, the court invoked Section 42 of the POCSO Act, which permits the court to award punishment prescribed in the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Hence, the judge did not impose a separate sentence for the offence under the POCSO Act.
The Special judge's order also mentioned a prior non-cognizable complaint against the victim girl's family in an attempt to establish enmity.
"Man had already served his imprisonment...": Court
Justice Dangre said that the imposition of the sentence lies within the discretion of the trial judge, and since the man had already served his imprisonment and paid the fine, the bench found no reason to interfere with the judgment of the special court.
“However, since the imposition of the sentence is a discretion of the Judge and since he deemed it appropriate to sentence the accused to undergo Simple Imprisonment for one week and it is informed that he has already undergone the sentence and has also paid the fine amount, until and unless some apparent perversity is to be found in the impugned order, I do not see any reason to interfere and tinkle with it,” the high court observed.