The 10-year sentence given to a 71-year-old for raping a minor was confirmed by the Bombay high court on Monday.
Justice RC Chavan said the convict, Bhimrao Gaikwad, was not entitled to any relief just because he was a senior citizen as the girl he raped was like his granddaughter.
The judge, however, set aside his conviction for intimidation after finding there was no evidence to suggest he had intimidated the victim.
The prosecution said the incident happened on May 30, 2005, at a hamlet in Pune district. That day, Gaikwad had called the 6-year-old to his hut saying he wanted her to fetch some bidis (for smoking) from the shop.
When the girl came inside the hut he forced himself on her.
The child later narrated the incident to her mother who lodged a complaint with the police. Initially, the police registered a case for outraging modesty of a woman.
The charge was later altered to rape after the police received the medical report of the child, which suggested forcible intercourse.
On October 4, 2008, a sessions court at Pune convicted Gaikwad and sentenced him to 10 years rigorous imprisonment for raping the minor.
The convict challenged the trial court verdict in the high court contending he was falsely implicated.
Assistant public prosecutor Rajeshree Gadhvi opposed the appeal arguing that only because of a quarrel, the victim’s mother would not level such a grave charge and spoil her minor daughter’s life.
Justice Chavan agreed with her submission and said if the family of the victim wanted to falsely implicate him, then they would have done it at the first instance and would not have waited for medical report to level the charge of rape.