5-year RI for Chandigarh man who sexually assaulted 10-year-old girl
Found guilty under Section 10 (aggravated sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Section 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code, the convict, Raghav Rao, was also fined ₹15,000 by the Chandigarh court
Observing that the hand of justice need not be tempered with mercy in the present case, a special fast-track POCSO court has awarded five-year rigorous imprisonment to a 58-year-old man for sexually assaulting and kidnapping a 10-year-old girl in 2022.
Found guilty under Section 10 (aggravated sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Section 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code, the convict, Raghav Rao, was also fined ₹15,000 by the court.
Took child out on pretext of buying her a toy
As per case files, the convict used to live in the same building as the minor girl, but eventually moved to another house in the same village. Six months after shifting, one day he visited the girl’s house and took her out with him on the pretext of buying her a toy.
But he took her to his house and sexually assaulted her. The girl’s parents, both labourers, were away at work at the time.
The child revealed the crime to her mother four days after the incident, following which a complaint was lodged and Rao was booked by police.
After being convicted, Rao pleaded for leniency, citing that he was a poor person, who needed to maintain his brother’s family too. Also that he is suffering from multiple health issues.
However, the special public prosecutor for the state argued that the convict should be dealt with sternly. She argued that non-awarding of appropriate punishment commensurate with the degree of crime may undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law.
The court observed, “Considering the plea of the convict, age of victim and necessity of harmonious construction between deterrence against crime viz-a-viz approach of punishment, hand of justice need not be tempered with mercy in the present case. Such abhorrent act on behalf of the accused/commit does not augur well with our ethos.”
Awarding five-years RI to Rao, the court also recommended the case for ₹1 lakh compensation under the Victim Compensation Scheme to District Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh.