Kerala court finds man guilty of raping 9-year-old girl

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Last week, a special POCSO court in Kerala convicted a 53-year-old man of repeatedly raping a 9-year-old girl and found him guilty under sections 376(f)(i) (rape of a minor ) ICC and sections 5(l)(m)(p)r/w 6 and 9(l)(m)(p)r/w 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act 2012.

When sentencing the man, Special Judge R. Jayakrishnan ruled that the defendant deserved no leniency in sentencing since he had committed the atrocities on an innocent girl young enough to be his granddaughter.

“Children are precious human resources of our country. They are the future of the country. The hope of tomorrow rests with them. But unfortunately, in our country, a girl child is in a very vulnerable position. A crime against a child in such a way is a crime against humanity and society.”

The accused, an autorickshaw driver, raped a 9-year-old minor who attended school while traveling in his autorickshaw.

The series of unfortunate sexual assault incidents began in November 2012 and continued until March 2013. The accused was a friend of the girl’s father and was responsible for taking her to school and at home.

What began as a sexual assault soon turned into ruthless acts of sexual assault and abuse. At one point, he even brought another man to the scene who tried to penetrate her. The atrocities continued to spiral out of control; she was even taken to a hotel room, drugged and abused.

The accused asked her not to disclose the incidents to anyone and she kept silent for so long until the school authorities found out. The affair came to light after the girl complained of stomach pain and her teacher inquired about it.

The matter was thus brought to the attention of the police and a complaint was filed against the accused.

Upon investigation, it was confirmed that the accused had sexually abused the girl on several occasions during the given period to satisfy her lust in his autorickshaw and in a hotel room.

Special Attorney General Vijay Mohan RS appeared for the surviving daughter who is now 18.

The Court verified that at the time of the offence, the survivor was a minor. Medical reports also supported the alleged history of sexual abuse. Witness statements were also well established. No contradictions or serious omissions were noted during the survivor’s cross-examination.

The compelling conclusion in such circumstances was that the accused was the perpetrator of the crime.

“In view of all the evidence and circumstances that I have related above, I find that the defendant committed rape, aggravated penetrative sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault on PW7, a minor victim .”

Regarding the question of the sentence to be imposed on the accused, the Court observed that it had a duty to take into account and credit the trauma suffered by the minor girl victim and the members of her family as well as the directives of the Supreme Court.

Accordingly, he was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life and fined Rs.50,000/- with a default sentence of one year rigorous imprisonment under Section 5 )(m)(p) r/w 6 of POCSO Act and Strict Imprisonment of 7 years and fine of Rs 25,000/- with default penalty of 6 months of rigorous imprisonment 9(l)(m)(p ) r/w 10 of the POCSO Act will serve the purposes of justice.

It was also held that the victim was entitled to obtain compensation under the victim compensation scheme.

Click here to read/download the order

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