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May 19, 2024
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Kerala Man Sentenced To Life For Sexual Assault Of Six-Year-Old Daughter


An accused who dared to commit such heinous act is to be dealt with the iron hands of law, said the court. (Unsplash/Representative)

An accused who dared to commit such heinous act is to be dealt with the iron hands of law, said the court. (Unsplash/Representative)

The court said: The act of the accused brings disgrace to fatherhood. Accused who was supposed to lead, protect and make PW1 (victim) evolve as a confident and responsible person shattered her childhood and put her into extreme miseries and trauma.”

A Special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act Fast Track Court in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram recently sentenced a man to life imprisonment for penetrative sexual assault, rape and sexual assault on his six-year-old daughter multiple times.

Special Judge Rekha R delivered the verdict stating that “the act of the accused brings disgrace to fatherhood. Accused who was supposed to lead, protect and make PW1 (victim) evolve as a confident and responsible person shattered her childhood and put her into extreme miseries and trauma”.

The accused was responsible for looking after his two daughters, who resided with him after his wife went to abroad for work. He allegedly committed sexual assault on his younger daughter while she was sleeping with his mother. The accused claimed that he was innocent and this case was foisted at the instance of his mother-in-law with whom he was not on good terms.

He was charged under Sections 376, 376(2)(f), 376(2)(n), 376AB of Indian Penal Code and sections 6 read with 5(l)(m)(n) of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and section 75 of Juvenile Justice Act. However, the accused pleaded not guilty saying, “His children and wife have no enmity to him. He was against sending his wife abroad. So his mother-in-law was in inimical terms with him. This case was created falsely due to the influence of his mother-in-law.”

The survivor was represented by Special Public Prosecutor Vijay Mohan RS.

The court deemed it crucial to assess whether the observations made by the medical experts aligned with the survivor’s testimony regarding the occurrence of penetrative sexual assault.

The doctors conducted examinations of the survivor on July 9, 2023, at different medical facilities. According to the first doctor, the survivor disclosed that her father had touched her inappropriately. The examination revealed swelling, redness, and tenderness in the vaginal area, with the victim exhibiting reluctance to be touched due to discomfort. The doctor concluded that these findings indicated sexual assault. During cross-examination, the doctor clarified that a pre-pubertal child’s vaginal orifice typically measures less than 1 cm, whereas the victim’s was dilated beyond that standard. The second doctor who examined the survivor later that same day testified similarly. The medical examination indicated laxity of victim’s vaginal orifice and a ruptured hymen, consistent with a history of sexual assault. The doctor issued a medical certificate noting her findings.

However, the defence argued that the medical certificate’s authenticity was in question due to its preparation on loose sheets but the testimony from the doctor confirmed this hospital’s practice. Though the court in this regard held that the mere fact that the medical certificate was prepared in printed loose sheets and a blank sheet was appended to it is no ground to reject it as a bogus one.

The court unequivocally accepted the testimony of the survivor. After thoroughly examining all evidence and materials presented, it deemed her testimony to be of exceptional quality. Therefore, the court deemed her deposition reliable and sufficient to justify a conviction of the accused.

The court further said: “Accused who dared to commit such heinous act is to be dealt with the iron hands of law. Maximum punishments provided under the statues are to be imposed on the accused to deter the potential offenders from committing similar offence and to give a strong message to the society.”

Consequently, the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment along with a fine of Rs. 25,000 for each offence under various sections of the POCSO Act, with default terms of rigorous imprisonment. Additionally, the court ordered rigorous imprisonment for 7 years along with a fine of Rs. 5,000 for other offences, again with default terms.

Furthermore, invoking the power under section 357-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, and section 33(8) of the POCSO Act, the court recommended the District Legal Services Authority, Thiruvananthapuram, to provide adequate compensation to the child.

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