Under the Pocso (Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences) Act, a man was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for three years on Tuesday. He had pulled a 15-year-old girl’s dupatta, held her hand and threatened her when she protested. The incident took place on December 1, 2017, when the girl was on her way to the market.
Handing out the sentence to the accused, now 23, a special Pocso court said there is an increase in sexual offences against children and it has an adverse impact on victims, their family members and even on society. “They are under the impression that the house and nearby vicinity are not safe for children… Definitely, such type of incident causes terror in the minds of people, victim and her family members and leaves a scar for a longer time,” said the court.
The court refuted the defence claim that the child’s version was inconsistent and could not be believed. She told the court that the accused used to stalk her and had been reprimanded by her family. In addition to sections under the Pocso Act, the court also found the accused guilty of Indian Penal Code charges relating to criminal intimidation. The accused had threatened the girl’s father when he confronted him over the phone.
“It is sufficient to prove the allegations that the accused has used criminal force with an intention to outrage the modesty of the victim and has sexually assaulted her. Besides, there are clear allegations that prior to the incident, the accused used to stand in front of her house and make gestures and used to follow her,” said the court.The court also fined the accused, who was out on bail, Rs 20,000. “Out of the fine amount, if paid by the accused, an amount of Rs 15,000 is to be paid to the victim girl as compensation,” it added. The accused would have to spend another month in jail if he can’t pay up. In that case, Legal Services Authority, Mumbai, is to pay it under the Victim Compensation Scheme.