October 30, 2021 1:15:22 am
A Special Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Court in Nadiad sentenced a 27-year-old man convicted of kidnapping and raping a 15-year-old girl in 2017 to 10 years of concurrent rigorous imprisonment under two of the four charges he was booked under, and directed him to pay Rs 75,000 to the girl.
Pronouncing the order late on Thursday, special POCSO judge SD Suthar of Nadiad observed that “conviction of the accused is must to act as a deterrent against the rising number of cases under POCSO and instill the fear of the law”.
The case dates to July 17, 2017, when the accused, then 23 years, kidnapped the girl from the custody of her parents, promising her marriage. According to the FIR, he “took advantage of the victim’s minor age” and “misled the minor girl to elope”. He then took her to various places where he forced himself on her “against her will”, it said.
A few weeks later, the girl was rescued and the accused arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as relevant sections of the POCSO Act.
The special court convicted the accused under all charges, sentencing him to two concurrent 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000, under the POCSO Act and for sexual assault under IPC, each.
The court also additionally sentenced the accused to concurrent imprisonment of three years for kidnapping the victim from her guardian, concurrent five years rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping and inducing her into marriage.
The court also ordered the accused to pay the victim compensation of Rs 75,000 and slapped him with an additional fine amounting to Rs 11,500 under various sections of the case.
Special Public Prosecutor Dhaval Barot who argued the case in the court, told this newspaper, “One of the first grounds for conviction in a POCSO case is that the victim has identified the accused. Since she was a minor, and therefore the case under POCSO, even if she had accompanied him out of her own will, it is considered a criminal offence. The second ground that the court upheld was that the medical evidence corroborated the police case.”
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