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Saturday, December 04, 2021

Delhi HC upholds verdict convicting man for forcibly kissing 10-year-old

According to the police, the accused had “suddenly caught hold” of the Class V student and “forcibly kissed on her cheek” while she was walking towards her school in February 2017.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 6, 2021 10:05:33 am
Delhi news, delhi HC, Man convicted for kissing child, delhi latest news, Indian expressDelhi High Court (File)

Rejecting the argument that it was an accidental touch, the Delhi High Court has upheld a trial court verdict convicting a man for forcibly kissing a 10-year-old on her cheek in February 2017 while she was walking towards her school. However, the court reduced the sentence of the convict from six years to five years.

Justice Mukta Gupta said the prosecution evidence proves “beyond reasonable doubt” the commission of offence under Section 10 (aggravated sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act. Observing that it is undisputed that the accused was present at the spot, the court said that the only issue which remains is whether his hand accidentally touched the victim or the incident as alleged by the victim took place.

“Version of the prosecutrix is duly corroborated by her father who was just 10-15 steps behind her and would have in the meantime turned towards the road leading to the school and hence a natural witness. Soon after the incident, the appellant was taken to the police station and statement of the victim was recorded and on the next day statement under Section 164 CrPC was recorded, thereby diminishing any possibility of tampering or tutoring,” said the court.

It further noted that the minimum sentence prescribed for the offence is five years and maximum is seven years. “There is no previous involvement of the appellant. During the course of trial and the pendency of the appeal, the appellant has been in continuous incarceration,” said Justice Gupta, while reducing the sentence by one year.

The accused was convicted by the trial court in September 2019. According to the police, he had “suddenly caught hold” of the victim, a Class V student, and “forcibly kissed on her cheek” while she was walking towards her school. When the victim raised an alarm, her father reached the place and overpowered the accused with the help of other people, the prosecution had told the trial court.

Before being convicted, the accused had told the trial court that while he was passing through the spot, the victim was coming from the opposite direction and his hand accidentally touched the victim, for which he had immediately apologized to her father. However, he told the court, the father of the victim did not accept the apology and started beating him.

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