Refusing leniency in sentencing a 21-year-old found guilty of raping a 12-year-old girl, his neighbour, a special court said that the youth of the society should get a message that abusing and raping a child in their neighbourhood can bring a dent in their lives and they will have to sacrifice their youthful life in jail.
Special Judge Priti Kumar (Ghule) under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act sentenced the Wadala resident, who had been in jail since his arrest in mid-2019, to 15 years of imprisonment. The court imposed a fine of Rs. 12,000 on him and directed that the victim be considered for compensation under the Victims Compensation Scheme.
The youth’s advocate had requested that a minimum sentence for the offences - of ten years - be given to him. The youth had appeared through video-conference before the court and told that his family is dependent on him as he did not have a father.
The court said in its judgment, “Accused is in his youth and has a big span of life. At the same time, the victim’s childhood is devastated and her future is also affected due to this grievous offence.” He had chosen a child to fulfil his lust, it added and said that he did not protect her, but abused the child and her childhood. “Children are the future of our country. Such an offence leaves a scar on the mind and body of the victim. It will be difficult for the victim to concentrate on her studies and make a good future. The accused has spoilt her present and future only to fulfil his lust,” it said.
The youth who had started living with his roommates in a room opposite the victim, had raped the child once and molested her on two occasions within a span of a month. He would call her home for running errands. The third time, the child raised an alarm and ran out. Her father then enquired with her and lodged the report.
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