The Supreme Court on Friday convicted two British nationals on charges of sexual abuse of minor boys living in shelters run by them in Mumbai.
A bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan directed immediate arrest of paedophiles Allan John Waters and Duncan Alexander Granthe and ordered them to undergo their jail terms.
"Children are the greatest gift to humanity. The sexual abuse of children is one of the most heinous crimes. It is an appalling violation of their trust, an ugly breach of our commitment to protect the innocent," the bench said while overturning the Bombay High Court verdict that acquitted the duo in July 2008.
"Our Constitution provides several measures to protect our children and government is expected to implement them to meet the constitutional aim," the bench added.
It also directed recovery of damages and fines imposed on the duo by the trial court on March 18, 2006.
The trial court had ordered the two Britishers to pay a compensation of 20,000 UK pounds each while also imposing a fine of R15,000 on William D'souza, their Indian aide, who was a manager in the shelters-for-homeless run by them at three places in Mumbai. They were sentenced to six years each.
While Waters has undergone five years imprisonment, Grant has served three years two months in jail. D'Souza has served a month longer in jail than the three years term imposed upon him.
SC restored their convictions on the appeals filed by civil society Childline INdia Foundation and Maharashtra government challenging the HC verdict.