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A youth has been awarded life term for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault on a six-year-old boy by a court, which noted that children are a “supremely important national asset” and the future of a nation depends on how they grow and develop.

Additional Sessions Judge Illa Rawat sentenced Delhi resident Pankaj, who used to work in a carton factory, after finding him guilty under provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The court said that it has been time and again emphasised in various legislations, international declarations as well as the judicial pronouncements that “children are a supremely important national asset and the future well being of the nation depends on how its children grow and develop”.

It rejected convict Pankaj’s prayer for leniency that he has to take care of his parents and younger siblings, saying that as he comes from a family comprising younger brothers and sisters, “his act becomes all the more deplorable since he is expected to exercise restraint and caution while interacting with children.”

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5000 on the convict and directed secretary of Delhi Legal Service Authority (DLSA) to provide Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the victim so as to provide him Restorative and Compensatory Justice.

While convicting Pankaj for the offence, the court said the testimony of victim and other witnesses examined by the prosecution, medical and forensic reports and other documents placed on record clearly suggest that prosecution has successfully proved the guilt of the accused, beyond reasonable doubt.

The court even rejected the contention of Pankaj that he was falsely implicated by the victim’s father as he has given a loan of Rs 10,000 to him, saying that it appears that the accused himself was so hard pressed for finances that he was unable to send money for his parents.

According to the prosecution, Pankaj who was residing as a tenant in Budh Vihar locality here had on May 5, 2013 called the victim to his house and committed penetrative sexual assault on him.

Later, when the victim complained to his mother, Pankaj was apprehended with the help of locals and handed over to police.

During trial, he pleaded innocence and said that he has been falsely implicated by the victim’s parents.

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