Court to hear appeals in paedophilia case
About 18 months after a city sessions court convicted two Britons of paedophilia and ordered them to pay 20,000 pounds (Rs 16.2 lakh) in compensation to their five victims — street boys from south Mumbai — the Bombay High Court will begin hearing appeals against the judgment on Tuesday. In March 2006, at the end of a 15-month trial, Sessions Judge PS Paranjpe convicted Britons Duncan Grant (63) and Allan Waters (59) and their Indian associate William D'Souza of unnatural offences under the Indian Penal Code.
He ruled that abuse took place 'repeatedly' in Anchorage, a Colaba 'shelter' for street boys that Grant set up and Waters frequented between 1995 and 2001.Grant and Waters have still not paid the compensation, instead challenging their conviction in the high court.
Meanwhile, the state is asking for the current six-year term to be enhanced to the maximum — in this case, life imprisonment. It also wants the court to increase the length of the sentence, set by the sessions court at one year, if the Britons fail to pay the compensation.
But the five victims at the centre of the case, who were lauded by the sessions court for "mustering the courage to outline their ordeal and appear for the prosecution", are far removed from the legal battles and continue to live on the streets.