Mumbai: The special POCSO court has sentenced a 21-year-old man to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting his 23 months old niece in November 2021.
As per the case registered at Shivaji Nagar police station, the child’s mother noticed severe rashes on the private parts of her daughter in November, 2021. She complained about this to her husband and mother-in-law but everyone ignored it thinking of it as an infection. The woman later went and showed it to the local doctor, who opined that it was not the case of an infection but a sexual assault. He immediately asked her to visit Sion hospital and there she was asked to report it to the police.
Not reporting a case of sexual assault on a minor is also an offence. Hence, the mother reported the case to police and an FIR was registered on the same day.
The mother, later, in her statement claimed that she was residing with her husband, his parents, his two brothers and one sister. The accused is one of the brothers of her husband. She claimed that the girl was still on breast feeding and to stop her from doing that the family used to take her to the mezzanine floor so that she could be away from her mother at the time of sleeping.
The mother, when she was examined as witness by public prosecutor VD More, testified that on November 12, 2021, when the girl came down, she noticed swelling in her private parts. She complained about this to her husband but he didn't respond. Again on November 18, at 2:30 pm, the accused took her to the mezzanine floor to sleep but she started crying. The accused brought her down. Later, when the mother took her to the toilet, the girl was crying out of pain.
The mother saw scratches on her private part and showed it to her mother-in-law. The mother-in-law opined that it must be an infection or mosquito bites. Later, the woman spoke to her sister-in-law and they went to consult their family physician who opined that it was a case of sexual assault.
Family claims the allegations are false
The family claimed that the mother had been threatening them to file a false case if they failed to pay her ₹8 lakhs. They also alleged that the girl suffered infection because the mother did not maintain hygiene and did not change her diapers timely. Besides, the defence claimed that the mother lodged a false case as the accused tried to kiss the mother and misbehave with her a few days ago and she wanted to take revenge for the said incident.
The doctors who treated the victim girl testified that the victim was admitted to Sion hospital on November 19, 2021 and was discharged on November 23, 2021.
"During her medical examination there was a 3 mm laceration at 6 o’clock position on posterior fourchette," the doctor said confirming a case of sexual assault.
The doctor also said that swelling and redness can be possible due to mosquito bite but laceration is not possible due to mosquito bite or any disease or unhygienic condition.
The court considered the opinion of the doctors and held that even if it is admitted by the mother that the accused misbehaved with the informant, no mother would cause any kind of injury to her daughter in order to take revenge from anybody.
"There is no explanation given by the defence as to how the injury was caused to the victim while she was accompanying the accused and was taken by the accused," the court said, holding the accused guilty of penetrative sexual assault.