Mahrukh Adenwala (above), counsel for the NGO Childline, which was instrumental in lodging the FIR against Duncan Grant and Alan Waters in a paedophilia case, hailed the Supreme Court verdict overturning their acquittals.
The two former British naval officers had been accused in 2001 of sexually abusing children at a shelter they ran at Colaba.
“After 10 years, it is good to see the Supreme Court finding them guilty. The effort and strength of the two boys [who spoke up first] is commendable,” said Adenwala on Friday.
The SC sentenced Grant and Waters to six years’ imprisonment.
“This is not just a case of sexual offences against these children. It will set a precedent for similar cases and act as a deterrent,” said Adenwala.
Had it not been for the boys who registered the case, she said, justice would not have been delivered. She said the high court, which acquitted the accused, didn’t feel that the victims’ statements were reliable.
While there may have been minor discrepancies in the versions, she said, it’s their overall statements that mattered.
The victims have stayed in touch with her over the years, telephoning her once in a while. Adenwala said she had no way of contacting them on her own.
“Occasionally, they call me up. They have moved on. One of them is married,” she said.
“I will be happy if they learn about the SC verdict and call me.”