Ghaziabad court awards death to man for rape and murder of 2-yr-old girl
A Ghaziabad fast-track court on Wednesday awarded death to a 30-year-old man for raping and murdering the two-and-half-year-old daughter of his colleague, on the night on October 19, 2020.
The court had fast-tracked the case and held the man guilty on January 18, after a trial that had lasted 29 days. While pronouncing the quantum of punishment on Wednesday, Mahendra Srivastava, special judge (Pocso Act), termed the case “rarest of rare” and went on to award the maximum punishment to the convict.
According to the prosecution, the crime took place on the night of October 19, 2020, when the convict , who is a colleague of the girl’s father, went to their house and took away the child from her mother on pretext of taking her to a nearby shop.
When he did not return till late night, the family went in search of him and also approached the police. The mutilated body of the girl was found the next afternoon, near a drain in an industrial area. The man was nabbed thereafter.
The police filed the charge sheet in the case on December 16, 2020, and charges were framed on December 24, 2020, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and also under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 302, 201, 376(a), 376(ab).
The prosecution said the autopsy report confirmed that child had suffered eight external injuries, including a broken hyoid bone ( U-shaped bone in the front of the neck) pointing to death due to asphyxia from strangling.
The court also relied upon the “last seen” theory besides the forensic test reports, which confirmed that the DNA of the man was found on body of the girl.
Apart from the death penalty, the man was also awarded life imprisonment for murder (IPC Section 302) and seven years’ imprisonment for destruction of evidence (IPC Section 201).
“The man brutally raped the minor girl and murdered her, before hiding her body near a drain at the scene of crime. The prosecution produced 10 witnesses while no one, including the family of the convict, turned up in his defence. We produced witnesses, including the girl’s mother who confirmed that the man took away her daughter despite her trying to stop him. One witness also saw the man carrying the girl on his shoulders near the scene of crime,” said Utkarsh Vats, special public prosecutor (Pocso).
The Ghaziabad police also procured CCTV footage from a mobile shop, which confirmed that Pandey between 8.50pm and 8.55pm was seen taking the girl with him.
Girl’s father and the man were friends for about 10-12 years and they worked at the same factory. At times, the man would stay with the family and the girl used to call him “Chacha (uncle)”, the police said.
“The court relied on several rulings and observed that the act also impacts society at large; besides there is little chance for the convict’s reformation. There was also a high level of brutality perpetrated on the child. Considering all these factors, the court awarded him death penalty,” Vats said.