June 29, 2021 1:11:32 am
SEVEN YEARS after a 13-year-old girl died by suicide due to alleged prolonged sexual harassment by a neighbour, a special court on Monday convicted the man on charges of sexual assault while acquitting him on charges of rape and abetment to suicide. The 33-year-old man was also directed to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh under the Information Technology Act for showing four minors obscene videos.
The man was sentenced to five years in jail; he has already undergone more than seven years of imprisonment as an undertrial.
In July 2014, the 13-year-old girl was rushed to a hospital in Bhandup after she suffered severe burns. Police claimed that a note was found in one of her notebooks stating that one of her neighbours had shown her and three other girls obscene photos and videos, then sexually assaulted them multiple times. The victim died within a few days, and the man was charged with abetment to suicide, rape and sexual assault along with relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
During the trial, the prosecution examined the three other girls, who were also sexually assaulted. Special public prosecutor Pranjali Joshi said the main evidence against the man was the statements of the three minor girls.
Defence lawyer Prakash Salsingikar said a handwriting expert had deposed that the writing in the note found by police did not match that of the girl’s handwriting in two out of three samples. Salsingikar had argued before the court that this shows that there was no abetment to suicide, and since none of the victims had complained about rape, the charge too cannot be proven
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.