Mumbai: A Dindoshi Special POCSO court recently sentenced a 53-year-old man to 12 years rigorous imprisonment for repeatedly raping a girl with mild intellectually disability.
Special judge under the POCSO Act AD Deo also imposed a fine of Rs25,000, in default of which he would have to serve additional six months in prison.
The case was registered in October 2014, but the girl — whose medical assessment showed her age to be between 12 and 14 years — had been sexually assaulted from six months earlier. She had not revealed it as the accused had threatened with dire consequences if she did so. The court did not convict the man under sections of the POCSO Act as it was not satisfactorily proven she was a minor.
The victim told court she lived with her mother and grandmother and her father died a year and a half before the incident. The accused was a neighbour who she would call ‘baba’. He used to frequent her home as it did not have a bolt as repair was going on. He would touch her inappropriately. She testified on one occasion, he had raped her on knife-point and on another occasion, threatened her with a hammer before raping her. On both the occasions, she said he had entered the house when she was alone, by asking for a glass of water. He had also scratched her on her forehead on the last occasion. She told the court the pain she suffered due to the assault made her muster courage to tell her grandmother about it and then they approached the police to lodge the complaint.
Police had not taken the victim for a mental health test but the court had done so. The report revealed her mental age was between 9 and 10 years and she could narrate the sequence of events. The medical officer who conducted her examination told the court at the time of the incident in 2014 her mental age would have been lower than in 2019.