Updated: December 11, 2021 8:38:38 pm
A special court for Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) in Kheda district sentenced a 24-year-old accused to ten years rigorous imprisonment for the abduction and rape of a 16-year-old girl on multiple occasions.
In an order delivered on Friday, the 2nd Additional Sessions Judge DR Bhatt of Kheda held the 24-accused, who works as a daily wage labourer guilty of rape, although the defence contended that the victim’s parents had told the police that she had confessed to being “in a relationship” with the accused.
The court said, “The prosecution has proven, beyond doubt, that the accused lured and persuaded the minor victim, who was aged 16 years and four months, to enter into a physical relationship with him. However, as per the facts discussed regarding the age of the victim, even if the victim had consented to such a relationship, it cannot be taken as her consent in the eyes of law. The accused unlawfully established physical relationship with a minor girl, which in the eyes of law is a crime even if the minor victim has consented to such a relationship.”
According to the case of the Mahemdavad police station of Kheda district, the accused kidnapped the victim from the custody of her parents, while the family was sleeping on the intervening night of December 27 and 28, 2020. The victim’s mother spotted that her daughter had been missing from the room where she was sleeping inside the house. The victim’s parents approached the police station concerned on December 29, 2020, where the accused was booked under IPC Sections for abduction (363), kidnapping to induce a woman to marriage (366), multiple rapes of the same woman [376(2)(n)] as well as relevant sections of the POCSO Act.
The court sentenced the accused to two concurrent terms of ten years rigorous imprisonment for rape under the IPC Section 376 and POCSO Act as well as two concurrent terms of five years in rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping the victim and for inducing her to marriage.
The court also ordered the accused to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the victim and directed the District Legal Services Authority to grant a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the victim as per the provisions of the Gujarat Victim Compensation notification of 2019.
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