Court of Fast Track Special Judge (POCSO), Thiruvanathapuram: R. Jayakrishnan, Special Judge addressed a case wherein a minor boy aged 9 years old was subjected cruelly by a 53-year-old man who squeezed the boy’s private part causing him pain.
In the present case, a minor boy was sexually assaulted and attempted to commit carnal intercourse against nature by the accused.
PW1 was the victim boy having aged 9 years and he was residing along with his family. The accused person was a servant of the owner of the house where PW1 and his family resided on rent.
While PW1 was in the veranda of the house the accused came and squeezed the penis of PW1. At that time the house owner came, and the accused released him. Immediately PW1 told the incident to his mother, but she did not take it as seriously, but she saw that the accused called PW1 to the backside of the kitchen, later P1 told his mother that the accused assaulted him and he showed her how the accused squeezed his penis.
The mother of PW1 asked him to tell the above-stated incident to his father, after which they went to the police station and registered a case.
Investigation revealed that the accused with his sexual intent squeezed the penis of PW1 and caused pain to him and also called PW1 to the backside of the residence and thus committed the aforesaid offences.
After the investigation, chargesheet was filed against the accused before the Additional Sessions Court (POCSO). Therefore, the accused was in custody. Further, as per the order of the Sessions Judge, the case was transferred to this Court for trial and disposal.
Charge under Sections 511 and 377 of Penal Code, 1860 and Section 9(m) read with 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act was framed against the accused.
Points for determination:
- Whether the victim, in this case, was a minor?
- Whether the accused committed aggravated sexual assault on PW1?
- Whether the accused attempted to commit carnal intercourse against the nature of the order on PW1?
- What are the offence, if any, committed by the accused? 5. What is the sentence to be imposed?
Point 1: The mother of PW1 testified that the victim, PW1 is her son, and his date of birth is 07/12/2011. No serious dispute about the age of the victim was raised and it was found that at the time of the incident of the victim, PW1 was in this case a minor.
Points 2 and 3: In the present case, accused raised a number of suggestions at the time of examination of the witnesses, but no evidence was adduced to show that he had not committed any offence. As per the evidence it could be seen that the presence of the accused at the place of occurrence was proved. The only irresistible conclusion that the Court reaches at is that the accused was the perpetrator of the crime.
Bench found that there was no evidence to show that the accused had committed any attempt for carnal intercourse against the nature of the order on PW1 and considering the totality of the evidence and the circumstances, Court held that the accused committed aggravated sexual assault on PW1. Adding to this, the accused did not commit any offence of attempting to commit an unnatural offence of carnal intercourse against the victim.
Point 4: The accused was found not guilty of the offence under Sections 511 read with 377 of the Penal Code, 1860 and found guilty under Section 9(m) read with 10 of the POCSO Act.
Point 5: Bench expressed that,
The accused is a prudent man, well acquainted with the prose and cons of his misdeeds. His attitude shows his scant respect and honour for the legal system and morality. So he is not entitled to get the benevolent provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958.
Supreme Court’s decision in State of Punjab v. Bawa Singh, 2015 KHC 4036, it was held that,
“This Court reiterated the settled proposition of law that one of the prime objectives of criminal law is the imposition of adequate, just, proportionate punishment which commensurate with gravity, nature of crime and the manner in which the offence is committed. One should keep in mind the social interest and conscience of the society while considering the determinative factor of sentence with gravity of crime. The punishment should not be lenient that it shocks the conscience of the society. It is, therefore solemn duty of the Court to strike a proper balance while awarding the sentence as awarding lesser sentence encourages any criminal and, as a result of the same, the society suffers.”
Bench opined that the, accused who was aged 53 years subjected a 9-year-old boy to atrocities, hence he does not deserve any leniency for the sentence.
Therefore, the accused was sentenced to a rigorous imprisonment for 5 years and to a fine of Rs 25,000 with a default sentence for 6 months, RI under Section 9(m) read with 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
Lastly, the accused was not found guilty under Sections 511 read with 377 IPC.[Vijaykumar, In Re., Sessions Case No. 869 of 2021, decided on 17-1-2022]
Advocates before the Court:
Prosecution Conducted by: Special Public Prosecutor, Sri Vijay Mohan R.S.
Accused defended by: Shahul Hameed