A special court designated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) on Friday sentenced a 26-year-old to the period already undergone by him in detention after his arrest - a little over two months - for making a sexually coloured remark to a 14-year-old in 2016.
Appearing before the court, the victim had testified that she was on her way to the nearby grocery store around 10.30 pm on 28 August 2016 when the youth was standing near an auto. He started following her and asked her to come to him. She refused and he kept following her and asked whether she cannot understand if told once. She did not pay heed and continued walking to the grocery store. The youth Nikhil Rupwate reached the shop too and threatened her of consequences if she does not come to meet him. He then left the spot and the frightened victim started crying. A woman neighbour who had come to the shop asked her what happened and so did the shopkeeper who had gone in to bring her provisions. She revealed the incident to them.
The court said that no doubt what the accused said to the girl was not combined with any gestures, still telling a girl aged 14 years who was walking alone at night to come to him is certainly with sexual intention thus attracting punishment for sexual harassment under the POCSO Act. It said however, that the prosecution has not proved that he had stalked her as defined under the Act.
Special judge MA Baraliya said in her judgment that he is a young boy and there is possibility for his reform. It said considering the nature of the offence, he can be sentenced to the period already undergone by him in custody.