10-year-old’s rape: Both uncles held guilty, sentence tomorrow
Girl, parents skip hearing on Tuesday; accused remain expressionless as fast-track court seals their fatepunjab Updated: Nov 01, 2017 12:48 IST
Watching her favourite cartoon on television at home, little did the 10-year-old rape victim know that just in a few hours a local court will seal the fate of her two maternal uncles, who raped her and one of them impregnated her at this tender age.
As the staff and judicial officer of the fast-track trial court prepared for the verdict — three-and-a-half months after the heinous crime came to light — and UT cops got ready to take the two accused to court from the high-security Burail jail, the girl was alone at her home in a southern sector of the city on Tuesday afternoon.
“I am unwell. So I did not go to school,” she said, even as she has been regularly attending the school after giving birth to a girl on August 17.
Her electrician father and mother, who works as a domestic help, were away for work, while her elder sister had gone to school.
Notwithstanding the trauma the family has gone through in the past months, they chose to skip the hearing.
In the evening, after the two accused had been convicted of rape, her mother — who was back from work by now — preferred to maintain privacy and drew the curtains of their one-room quarter.
Earlier, in court, the woman’s two cousins appeared expressional as additional district and sessions judge Poonam R Joshi held them guilty.
While the defence counsels appeared anxious, it seemed the duo didn’t even register what was happening.
Even as the wife of the younger uncle — who fathered the minor’s child — was present for the verdict, the family of his elder brother — who are in Nepal — gave the hearing a miss.
With the court giving its verdict, the two face up to life imprisonment. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on Thursday.
The two have been found guilty under Section 376 (2) (f) (i) (n) — committing rape on a woman when she is under 12 years of age, a relative and it involves repeated intercourse — of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Sections 5(i) — penetrative sexual assault on the child more than once or repeatedly — and 6 — aggravated penetrative sexual assault — of the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
It was on July 14 that doctors found the girl to be 30-week pregnant when her mother took her to hospital after she complained of a stomach ache. A local court dismissed the girl’s abortion plea, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court, as the doctors said the procedure would be too risky.
On the girl’s complaint, police arrested her mother’s cousin, who was a guard at a local hotel, for rape. But the case turned on its head when the DNA samples of the girl’s child — who took birth on August 17 — didn’t match with those of the uncle, as first reported by Hindustan Times on September 11.
Seventeen days later, police arrested the man’s younger brother, who turned out to be the main accused.
The girl told police that she was first raped by the younger uncle, a cook with the same hotel as his brother, around Christmas in 2016. The older uncle, too, assaulted her repeatedly from April till early July, she said. Initially, the girl didn’t name the younger uncle, fearing he would come good on his threat of killing her parents.