A SPECIAL court on Thursday sentenced a 50-year-old man to 20 years in prison for raping a four-year-old girl in 2016. The sentence was given under provisions of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018, passed in August after the rape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua. In the amended law, the minimum punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years of age is rigorous imprisonment for 20 years, extending to life imprisonment. The court, considering factors, including the accused person’s age, imposed the minimum punishment of 20 years.
The accused person’s advocate, however, had submitted that since the incident took place in 2016, when the amendment had not been passed, it could not be retrospectively imposed. According to the prosecution, the incident took place in 2016. The victim, a Class I student, used to go to the accused person’s house to play with his daughter.
The victim’s mother, in her statement, told the court that on August 25, 2016, she went to the accused person’s house and saw the girl lying on the floor with the accused sitting near her and touching her private parts.
The victim’s mother took her daughter and returned home and asked the girl about the incident. Later, an FIR was registered against the accused.
Among the witnesses examined by the prosecution, led by special public prosecutor Jyoti Sawant, were medical officers, who confirmed sexual abuse.
The court found the accused guilty under sections, including 376 (2) (i) and 354 A of the Indian Penal Code, and sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.