The Delhi High Court has upheld the 10-year jail term awarded to a man suffering from a psychiatric and behavioural disorder for sexually abusing a minor, observing that the victim, an eight-year-old boy, was also “tormented and forced to beg for food and money”.
But Justice Anu Malhotra suggested appropriate correctional courses through meditation therapy for the convict, saying that such imprisonment “acts as a deterrent and is simultaneously reformative with a prospect of rehabilitation”.
It further asked the Delhi government and the Tihar jail Director General to consider education opportunities, vocational training and skill development programme for the convict so he can earn a livelihood. The HC suggested “shaping of a post-release rehabilitation programme” for the convict “well in advance… to make him self-dependent”.
The court’s direction came on an appeal filed by the man against a trial court’s August 2016 order, convicting him for sodomising a minor. He was also found guilty under Section 6 of the POCSO Act and sentenced to 10 years in jail.
“Adequate counselling be provided to the appellant to be sensitised to understand why he is in prison,” the HC said, asking authorities to conduct “psychometric tests to measure the reformation taking place”.
The accused was arrested after a complaint was filed by the victim’s father on April 29, 2013, saying that his son did not return home from school and that he suspected his tenant, the accused, of being involved. The accused was arrested on May 16, 2013, and the child recovered. The boy told police that he was kidnapped by the accused, who sodomised him several times.
The accused told the trial court that he had been falsely implicated by the boy’s father over a tenancy dispute. The HC turned down his contention and said in its November 30 judgement: “The child, apart from having been kidnapped and sexually abused, was tormented and forced to beg for food, money… The accused/convict deserved no leniency…”