April 20, 2015 12:27:53 am
Observing that even if a woman had been involved in “sexual activities” in the past, it did not imply that she was “available for sexual assault”, a special sessions court judge has convicted a 30-year-old man under the newly amended sections of rape for fingering a woman.
Eshwar Mukesh Keseghodam (30) was convicted for raping the 21-year-old woman. He was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. The court order said that the victim was forced into prostitution at the age of 15.
The victim claimed that Mukesh assaulted her on April 18, 2014, at Nallasopara, on her way back home. She claimed she did not have any change to pay for a bus ride home from Wadala station and hence, took a ride with her friend Yasin Shaikh who was at the station on a motorcycle. “Shaikh stopped at a crossroads and asked me to wait there till he filled petrol and returned,” the victim said.
Shaikh asked the accused to keep the victim company. “They were talking to each other when the accused asked her to come with him. He started touching her and when she resisted, he kicked her on the abdomen and punched her in the face,” the court order read. The convict then raped her. A common friend Sajan Tekam came to the spot and rescued the victim.
The special judge also took into account the victim’s mental state as grounds for believing the rape allegations against Mukesh. Judge Shende said, “The victim has not only physically suffered due to the act of the accused but has also got mentally disturbed… She was found scared of staying alone and thinking of the incident again and again. After the incident, she could not take food which clearly shows that she was in trauma.”
Among the evidence taken into consideration were the medical tests which found bruises and abrasion marks on the victim’s face and body. Special Judge A S Shende also included the victim’s torn salwar on which Mukesh’s semen was found after DNA tests. Sajan, who allegedly rescued the victim, denied the prosecution’s charge of rape in court. The defence also argued that there was a delay in the lodging of an FIR. The judge observed that considering the mental trauma of sexual assault, disclosing the incident to her own mother a day later, would not be termed as a delay.
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