Mumbai: A special court in Mumbai has sentenced a 38-year-old man to 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old distant relative of his in a house where they had both gathered for the last rites of a common relative.
While deciding the quantum of sentence, special judge under the POCSO Act Sanjashree Gharat in her judgement said that the offences against the accused are serious in nature and that while showing leniency to the accused, the sufferings of the victim cannot be ignored. It noted that at the time of the offence, she was 12-years-old and has to carry the mental trauma throughout her life. The punishment awarded to the accused should be proportionate to the offences proved against him, the judgement said.
According to the complaint registered by the mother of the victim at Bhandup police station, after the function her daughter and her husband had attended on 12 July, 2017, she had found change in her daughter’s behaviour. That night she had observed that her daughter was struggling to sleep. The following day, her daughter had refused to go to school. When she returned from work, her husband informed her that their daughter had not eaten food. When taken into confidence, her daughter had broken down and revealed that the distant relative had asked to keep his phone on charging and then followed her into the room and sexually assaulted her there.
The man in his defence claimed before the court that he had been falsely implicated. The court noted that after the incident, the victim was under shock and there was change in her behaviour as noticed by the prosecution witnesses and that there is nothing on record that he has been falsely implicated.