POCSO Special Court, at Fort, Gr. Bombay: In a case where charge sheet is filed against the accused for offences punishable under sections 354(A), (B), 504, 506 of Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and under section 12 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO), Priya P. Bankar, J., convicted the accused and sentence him for imprisonment under Section 7 punishable under Section 08 of POCSO Act, Section 354 and Section 506 IPC. The Court further directed the accused to pay compensation to the victim child , failing which, the said amount will be paid out of Victim Compensation Scheme.
The victim is 15 years old residing along with her family members. Accused used to stand in front of her house. Once, when, victim went nearby to purchase the household articles, the accused allegedly pulled her dupatta and held her hand. On the victim threatening that she will complain to her father, the accused said ‘Tere pappa ko ghar me ghuske marunga‘. On returning home, the victim informed the said incident to her father to which he made a phone call to accused and the accused abused the father of the victim. So, the complaint was lodged against the accused at Mahim Police Station. The charge sheet was filed, and the trial commenced.
Counsel for State submitted that despite of understanding given to the accused by the father of the victim, he has continued his acts of assaulting the minor sexually, thus he deserves maximum punishment.
Counsel for accused submitted that he is the only earning member of his family and he is 23 years old, thus requests Court to show leniency while awarding the sentence and minimum sentence be awarded as he has no criminal antecedents.
The Court noted that the accused has taken defense about the love affair between him and the victim, but the said defense is not acceptable, looking at the age of the victim.
The Court further noted that in view of the evidence by PW 1 shows, the accused has threatened to beat her father after entering the house. So, said threat was causing injury to the father of victim, with intend to cause alarm and to do act, which she is not legally entitled to do by means of execution of such threats, is a criminal intimidation. Thus, the prosecution has proved the offence punishable under Section 506 of IPC.
Based on evidence, the Court observed that prosecution has proved that accused has outraged the modesty of 15 years old child and has sexually assaulted her and thus, he has committed the offence under Section 354 of IPC as well as under Section 7 punishable under section 8 of POCSO Act. He has also threatened the victim and also committed offence punishable under Section 506 of IPC.
The Court remarked that there is an increase in sexual offences against children. There is a very adverse impact of the incident on the victim girl, on her family members and even on the society. They are under the impression that house and nearby vicinity are not safe for children and it is going to cause an alarming situation in society. Definitely, such type of incident causes terror in the mind of people, victim and her family members and leave scar for longer time.
The Court thus passed the following order:
Accused stands convicted of offence under Section 7 punishable under Section 8 of POCSO Act and is hereby sentenced to suffer Imprisonment for 03 years (three years) and to pay fine of Rs. 10,000/ (Rs. Ten thousand only), in default to pay fine, to suffer Simple Imprisonment for the period of 1 month (one month).
Accused stands convicted of offence punishable under Section 354 of IPC and is sentenced to suffer Imprisonment for 01 year (one year) and to pay fine of Rs. 10,000/ (Rs. Ten thousand only), in default to pay fine, to suffer Simple Imprisonment for the period of 1 month (one month).
Out of the fine amount, if paid by the accused, an amount of Rs. 15,000/ (Rs. Fifteen thousand only) be paid to the victim girl, as compensation and if the said amount cannot be paid out of the fine amount, Legal Services Authority, Mumbai to pay the amount of compensation under Victim Compensation Scheme.
[State of Maharashtra v. Mohammed, 2022 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Bom) 12, decided on 11-10-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
S. S. Joshi, APP, Advocate,for the State;
Dhananjay Singh, Advocate, for the Accused.
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.