A court in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur Monday awarded capital punishment to a 19-year-old for raping his three-year-old neighbour.
This is the eighth death sentence awarded in rape cases in Madhya Pradesh in the past five months and the fourth since the Centre issued an ordinance on April 21, providing for death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12.
The incident took place on April 24 when the victim’s mother, who was talking to a relative outside her home, heard her daughter’s screams and rushed inside to find her bleeding. Touhid Shaukat was nabbed on the spot, beaten up and handed over to the police. After a trial, lasting 26 days, Additional District and Sessions Judge Naurine Nigam awarded death sentence to the teenager under Section 376 AB of the IPC. Eighteen witnesses were examined over three days.
District prosecution officer S K Chaturvedi told The Indian Express that besides witness accounts, the court relied on DNA reports after the victim’s bloodstains were found on the shirt of the accused. He said the girl was rushed to a hospital and her condition improved after a few days.
“Considering the gravity of the offence, the death penalty is justified and necessary,’’ the judge noted in the order. The convict was also sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment for house trespass and fined Rs 2,000.
The judge said the fine amount was meagre for treatment and rehabilitation of the victim. She said the copy of the judgment should be sent to the district legal aid authority so that the survivor received monetary assistance under a state or a central scheme.