“Act of the accused is such a dehumanizing act that it cannot be expected even from a beast”, said the Additional District and Sessions Court of Chandigarh on Friday, sentencing life imprisonment till the natural remainder of life to a 26-year-old man convicted for raping an eight-month-old girl. The convict, who is a native of Bihar, is the victim’s mother’s cousin brother.
The Special Women and Child Court of ADJ Poonam R Joshi held the accused guilty under Section 376 AB (Punishment for the rape of a woman under 12 years of age) of the Indian Penal Code. The Court also imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh on the convict.
Pronouncing the verdict, the Court observed in the judgment, “The punishment must be such that it must act as a deterrent so as to protect the society from such offenses, as these incidents are on a rise. The act of the accused is such a dehumanizing act that it cannot be expected even from a beast. The beast also nurtures their children in a nice manner, with love and affection. However, the accused who was none else but the cousin brother of the victim’s mother did not even spare the child of his own family.”
The judgment further read, “A child of eight months, who has barely entered into the world is expected to be loved, nurtured and welcomed in the family. However, before her life could start, she has been ravished by the accused. The present case is to be dealt with sternly and severely. The term of the sentence has to be commensurate to the gravity of the offense. Public abhorrence of the crime needs reflection through the imposition of the sentence.
There are no extenuating or mitigating circumstances, which may justify the imposition of any sentence less than the sentence of life. To show any mercy or leniency in the present case would be a travesty of justice.”
“The present case has totally shaken the conscience of the society at large and a small child, who is to be treated as a goddess as per Indian custom has been ravished to a great extent by the accused. The office being grievous in nature does not call for any leniency. Such offense threatens the fabric of the society, its peace, and tranquility. The victim who suffers such depravity is bound to carry the scars for her entire life. As such, no leniency can be given to the accused person,” read the judgment.
The case dates back to September 1, 2018, when the victim’s mother filed a complaint with the police that she, along with her husband and their three children, including the victim had been living in a shanty.
She said that the incident occurred when the accused, who is her cousin and a native of Bihar, came to her residence at Mauli Jagran in an inebriated condition at 10 am, while she and her husband were away for 10-15 minutes to attend nature’s call, leaving behind their eight-month daughter at the shanty, where the accused was also there.
The woman told the police that when she and her husband came back to their dwelling, they found their eight-month-old daughter injured and crying, and soon, a woman from the neighborhood came told the couple that the accused had bolted the door from inside and the child was heard crying. However, by this time, the accused had escaped.
The victim’s parents took their daughter to the hospital, where the doctors confirmed the child had been sexually assaulted.
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