Mumbai News: 38-year-Old Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Imprisonment For Raping Minor Step Daughter

Mumbai News: 38-year-Old Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Imprisonment For Raping Minor Step Daughter

Rejecting the arguments, the special POCSO court observed that the quarrels between the accused and the victim's mother were on petty issues.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Sunday, April 28, 2024, 02:05 AM IST
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A 38-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for repeatedly raping his eight-year-old stepdaughter for a year. Notably, he committed the abhorrent act at their residence at midnight when other family members used to be fast asleep. Since the sexual assault took place prior to the amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the man has been sentenced to 10 years, which was the maximum punishment for penetrative sexual assault on a child. The act was amended in 2019, increasing the quantum of punishment to 20 years.

As per the prosecution, the victim was residing with her stepfather, two brothers and her mother. In June 2017, her aunt had come to their house to reside with them. The crime finally came to light when the aunt woke up one night to relieve herself and incidentally saw the accused raping the minor. 

When queried by her mother later, the girl revealed that the man had been sexually assaulting after her maternal grandmother passed away on September 20, 2016. She lamented that the accused used to rape her, gagging her mouth, and even threatened to kill her if she confided in anyone. On June 13, 2017, a case was filed with the Ghatkopar police, prompting the man to flee to his native place in Uttar Pradesh. He was arrested in a week.

Public prosecutor Sulabha Joshi had examined the victim, her mother and her aunt. However, the testimonies of the mother and aunt were discarded as they were not available for cross-examination by the accused. In his defence, the man averred that he has been falsely implicated by the mother on account of frequent quarrels between them. He contended that that it was not possible to commit rape in the house in the presence of so many members.

Rejecting the arguments, the special POCSO court observed that the quarrels between the accused and the victim's mother were on petty issues. It is difficult to accept that due to quarrels between parents, the victim has a reason to state falsehood against the man, the court reasoned. While the prosecution had not brought any medical evidence against the man, the judge heavily relied on the minor's deposition.

“The accused has done very heinous acts with the eight-year-old girl. The incident will leave a scar in the mind of the victim for a longer period. She may not be in a position to live a normal life due to the trauma caused because of the incident.”, said the victim.

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