A man was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment by the special women’s court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge on Friday for raping his two minor daughters. A fine of Rs 2.05 lakh was also imposed on the father which would be split between the victims. The 45-year-old convict, a resident of Manimajra, was handed down the sentence by ADJ Poonam R Joshi under Section 6 of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.
According to the prosecution, the case was registered on September 25, 2017, when the accused was arrested on the complaint of his two daughters, aged 16 years and 7 years.
The 16-year-old girl told the police that she had been living with her uncle (her father’s brother) on the first floor of the house as her father had been sexually assaulting her for the past one year while her seven-year-old sister and four-year-old brother were living with her father on the ground floor after their mother passed away.
According to the complaint, on September 24, the seven-year-old girl told her elder sister that she was being sexually abused by their father for quite some time. The elder sister then approached the doctor at her nearby dispensary who after hearing them, called up the Child Helpline. The victims then narrated the entire incident to the counsellors of Child Helpline. Based on their statements, the Child Helpline officials approached Chandigarh Police and lodged a formal complaint on behalf of the elder sister.
The police then got medical examination of the victims conducted at the government hospital and a case was registered under sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 376 (2)(F) (raping a woman when she is under 12 years of age) of IPC and Section 10 of the POCSO Act. The accused father of the victims was then arrested.
During the trial, the defence counsel argued that the accused had been falsely implicated in the case as it was a family dispute between the accused and his elder brother. The victims, however, supported the prosecution and identified their father, who committed the crime on them. After going through the facts and evidence, the court held the accused guilty.
The court, in its judgment, observed, “The father, who is protector of the family, has molested his own minor daughters which is not only a grievous offence but is shameful for the society.”
The court also stated that “the father has destroyed the future of the girls, who have somehow gathered courage to approach the court. This will have long-term effects, including damage to the victim’s emotional reactions and self-perception. They might suffer from relationship problems, including sexuality and social functioning”.