Friday, February 3, 2023

Delhi HC upholds trial court order convicting man of minor’s sexual assault

A single-judge bench of Justice Anu Malhotra said, it is essential to observe that there is no reason to disbelieve the testimony of the two minor children.

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The Delhi High court has upheld the order of trial court for convicting a man for the commission of aggravated gang penetrative sexual assault upon a 13-year-old minor child.

A single-judge bench of Justice Anu Malhotra said, it is essential to observe that there is no reason to disbelieve the testimony of the two minor children…while citing the judgment laid down in case of “Dinesh Chand Vs State” wherein it was held, it is essential to observe that it is only a rule of prudence that the court always finds it desirable to have the corroboration of the evidence of a child from the testimonies of witnesses and it is not the law that if the witness is a child, his evidence shall be rejected even if it is found reliable.

The court pronounced its order on the appeal filed by a man against his conviction by the Trial Court under section 5(g) of the POCSO Act (Gang penitrative sexual assault on a child) and for offence under section 506/34 of IPC (Criminal intimidation).

The prosecutions case was that the victim child (A) was taken away by three boys between the age of 18-25 who forcibly made him enter the cabin of an oil tanker where two of the three boys committed penetrative sexual assault on the child victim while one of them held a knife to the victim’s neck for intimidation and to ensure that the victim doesn’t raise an alarm. Later a friend of the victim came along with an uncle from the jagran and found the victim and on seeing the uncle and friend N, the three boys ran away.

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The defense argued that the victim, A and his friend, N are pickpockets and were caught so they made a false story to implicate the accused with the intention to shift the focus of the police from their crime.

The High Court held ; “…In the circumstances, there is no infirmity whatsoever in the impugned judgment and the appellant merits no leniency and it is held that there is no infirmity neither in the impugned judgment dated 19.2.2020 nor the impugned order on sentence dated 20.2.2020.” while declining the appeal.

The High Court further gave certain directions to the Superintendent of the Jail, New Delhi where the appellant shall be incarcerated “…so that the sentence acts as a deterrent and is simultaneously reformative with a prospect of rehabilitation.”

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The directions are as follows :-

● appropriate correctional courses through meditational Therapy; educational opportunity, vocational training and skill development programme to enable a livelihood option and an occupational status;

● shaping of post release rehabilitation programme for the appellant well in advance before the date of his release to make him self-dependent,; ensuring in terms of Chapter 22 clause 22.22 (II) Model Prison Manual 2016, protection of the appellant from getting associated with anti-social groups, agencies of moral hazards (like gambling dens, drinking places and brothels) and with demoralised and deprived persons;

● adequate counselling being provided to the appellant to be sensitized to understand why he is in prison;

● conducting of Psychometric tests to measure the reformation taking place;

● and that the appellant may be allowed to keep contact with his family members as per the Jail rules and in accordance with the Model Prison Manual.


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