Mumbai: Court convicts man under POCSO, acquits him of abetment of suicide

A 33-year-old man on Monday was convicted under POCSO act for showing obscene videos to children in his neighborhood and touching them inappropriately. While doing so the court acquitted him of the offence of abetment of suicide, in a case where one of his victims, aged 13 years, had died in stove blast, while the victim's mother had alleged the victim died by suicide.

The girl was not in position to give a statement after the incident, having suffered huge burns and had died a week later. Two days after the incident, when she was under treatment, her mother had found a chit in a plastic box in her daughter’s handwriting where she had stated about the acts of the man had attempted on her friends and herself and indicated that she would attempt a suicide by a certain means.

The court said it did not find ingredients of abetment of suicide and that the accused not instigated or intended the death of the victim. It said it is an accidental burn death and not suicide and if she had the intention to commit suicide she would have poured kerosene on herself, but that is not the case. There is a possibility, it said, that the stove can cause burn injuries to the child who was not in an attentive state of mind and disturbed due to being shown the obscene clips, but that she had not intended to kill herself.

Three friends of the victim had deposed who had corroborated the material in the chit regarding the acts of the man. The forensic report of the seized phone had also confirmed the presence of pornographic material in it. The court relied on this evidence to find him guilty of sexually assaulting the children while showing them obscene material. While deciding the quantum of sentence, the court said no leniency can be shown to him.

“He is a married man with a child. The victim was about 13 years old. The victim and her friends when they visited the house of the accused were innocent. The accused has sexual intention, lustful desire and has acted to corrupt the innocent mind of children”, Special Judge Priti Kumar Ghule stated.

It sentenced him to five years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs. 1.12 lakh on him, of which Rs. 50,000 it directed to be paid as compensation to the victim’s mother. The man had been in custody as an undertrial for seven years and hence is now entitled for release.

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