Mumbai: POCSO Court Grants Couple 10 Years In Jail For Pushing Runaway Girl Into Flesh Trade

Mumbai: POCSO Court Grants Couple 10 Years In Jail For Pushing Runaway Girl Into Flesh Trade

Victim managed to escape, but suffered trauma; she is currently lodged at mental hospital

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Saturday, March 02, 2024, 09:19 PM IST
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A special POCSO court has sentenced a couple to ten years imprisonment for sexually assaulting, blackmailing and pushing a 16-year-old girl into prostitution. After enduring physical and mental torture from October 2018 to January 2019, the victim somehow managed to escape, however, she suffered trauma. Currently, she is in a mental hospital.

Details of case

As per the prosecution, the teen was residing with her maternal aunt and ran away due to some quarrel. On the way, she met a person who took her to the couple's residence on the pretext of giving her shelter. Here, the girl was intoxicated and was sexually assaulted by Kadar Ali Shaikh, 33, while his wife Aaliya Shaikh alias Pooja Aunty, 26, clicked nude pictures. The duo then used the obscene photos to blackmail the victim. The girl said many people visited the couple's house and she was sexually assaulted by them. After some days, she managed to escape and was found by the police. She was admitted to the hospital on January 18, 2019, and gave her statement after treatment. After the couple's arrest, the police also found many nude pictures of the girl in their phones.

Couple pronounced guilty

Pronouncing the couple guilty, special judge RK Kshirsagar observed, “It seems that due to the incident the victim has become mentally unstable and even after several years she is in a mental hospital. The act of the accused therefore does not deserve leniency. Despite having five children of their own, they committed such an offence. Such accused shall be dealt with strict hearts and does not deserve leniency.”

Victim's mental health worsens after testimony

The court further noted that the victim was brought from the mental hospital for giving evidence. As per medical report, her reactions were due to past traumatic stress exposures. The same has also been observed at the time of recording the evidence, said the judge, adding that her condition worsened after giving testimony. As per the last report, the girl was reacting aggressively even upon hearing the word 'court'. Hence, when the defence sought to re-examine her, the hospital said she was not in a condition to testify further.

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