Mumbai: Pocso court sentences man to 5-year rigorous jail for molesting minor
In a speedy trial, a special Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) court on Friday sentenced a 52-year-old man to five years of rigorous imprisonment, about two-and-a-half months after he molested a 7-year-old girl residing in his neighbourhood.
This is the second instance in a week wherein special judge MA Baraliya has concluded a trial in child abuse case in two-and-a-half months. The special judge had on Monday sentenced a 48-year-old man to three years of rigorous imprisonment for flashing a 13-year-old girl on several occasions in October 2020.
In the case that concluded on Friday, the man was booked by Deonar police for inappropriately touching a 7-year-old girl in his house. As per the prosecution case, on October 23, 2020 around 4pm, the girl was playing with a boy in the neighbourhood when the accused called her to his house. When the girl went to his house, he gave her ₹5 and moved his hands all over her body. The girl felt uncomfortable and left crying.
She narrated the incident to her mother. The mother then lodged a complaint with Deonar police.
Public prosecutor Sulbha Joshi examined four witnesses, which included the child, her mother and two investigating officers, to bring home the guilt of the accused.
The accused had claimed that he was implicated in a false case by the child’s mother due to previous disputes and quarrels between them. The accused also claimed that the incident was not possible as both his son and his son’s friend were present in the room at the specified time and no such incident took place.
The prosecution, however, pointed out that there was no quarrel between the accused and the minor’s mother so as to implicate the accused in a false case. The prosecution argued that the victim was so afraid of him that she did not like to see the accused when she was asked to identify him. “She was shying and concealing her face. Her behaviour proves that she had been sexually molested by the accused,” Joshi had contended.
The court, after hearing both sides, held, “Notably, the reaction of the prosecutrix (victim), during recording her testimony, when she was asked to identify the accused, cannot be ignored. She was not ready to see him. When the accused was brought by opening slightly the door of the chamber, she concealed her face in her palm. It was her spontaneous reaction when the turn of identification of accused was there. Her such a reaction indicates that she faced wrong acts by the accused.”
The court further negated the defence of the accused that the incident could not have taken place in front of his son and son’s friend. The court observed, “Obviously, accused’s son and his friend were present in the same room, who according to the prosecutrix were busy on mobile. It is possible that they both either didn’t notice what the accused was doing with the prosecutrix or didn’t have courage, even noticing to desist the accused from doing that. So, presence of both didn’t make any difference for the accused to sexually assault upon the girl.”