Mumbai: A special court in Dindoshi has sentenced a 27-year-old physical training (PT) teacher of a school to five years of simple imprisonment for sexual assault on a five-year-old child, a student of the school.
While deciding the quantum of sentence, a special court under the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in Dindoshi considered that it was the first offence proved against the young man.
The incident took place on March 7, 2017 when the man had lifted the child’s T-shirt and licked her chest. The child narrated the incident to her aunt when she was giving her a bath that evening; the five-year-old called it a “funny and dirty” incident.
Special Judge SJ Ansari said in the order that the act had sexual intent. He said the child’s description of the incident indicated that though she didn’t understand the full import of what had happened with her, she did know that it was ‘dirty’. It said that the child did not have knowledge of sexual intent or sexualised behaviour because of her age. She was therefore not able to understand the act to which she was subjected.
The man had pointed out in court about the delay in lodging the police complaint. The court noted that the victim’s family members had first sought action from the school. They approached the police when they became aware of the attitude of the school authorities, who washed their hands off the incident after suspending the teacher.
The court added that generally the teachers and the principal of any educational institution are prone to deny the occurrence of any such incidents as its publicity will obviously have an adverse effect.
The Ghatkopar resident had been in prison for three months after his arrest in March 2017. The court directed that the duration he has served in prison as an undertrial, before he secured bail, be deducted from his sentence.
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