Kerala teacher gets 60-yr jail for sexually assaulting minor
A Kerala school teacher has been sentenced to 60 years’ rigorous imprisonment on Wednesday for sexually assaulting a minor girl student, who was also partially blind. Experts said this could be the first award of such a long sentence for sexual assault of a minor.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Pocso) court in Kozhikkode also directed the State government to pay ₹two lakh as relief to the victim’s family.
The case against school teacher Firoze Khan surfaced in 2017 and many students and teachers later deposed against him. According to the prosecution, the teacher had sexually assaulted the class 6 student on several occasions and threatened her with dire consequences if she revealed her exploitation to anyone.
The victim, however, confided in some of her classmates who stayed quiet fearing retaliation from the accused. Her ordeal finally came to the light during a counselling session in the school following which a case was registered.
While delivering the verdict, Pocso court judge K Subramma said a teacher should be a role model to students and the society as a whole and the accused didn’t deserve any sympathy for exploiting a minor who was partially blind.
Last week a Pocso court in Kasargod (north Kerala) had sentenced a headmaster for 20 years in jail for sexually assaulting a class four student. It had also asked the government to pay ₹10 lakh compensation to the victim’s family. The Pocso act was amended last year to include the death penalty among the punishments for sexual offences against children apart from adding measures to rehabilitate the victims.