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jailedA man has been sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment for trying to sexually assault a six-year-old girl who had come to his house to play with his daughter.

Additional Sessions Judge Illa Rawat refused to take a lenient view against the convict saying he had betrayed the trust of the victim’s mother who had allowed her to play at his house and also awarded a compensation of Rs one lakh to the victim.

The court handed down the jail term to north-west Delhi resident Surender for the offence of attempt to commit penetrative sexual assault under section 5 (m) of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on him.

“The mother of the victim child apparently trusted convict to have allowed her daughter to go to his house to play with convict’s daughter. The convict betrayed the trust reposed in him by the victim and her mother and attempted to commit penetrative sexual assault upon child and thus, no leniency is called for in the matter,” the judge said.

The court awarded the compensation to the victim, to be paid by District Legal Service Authority, while observing, “Children are a supremely important national asset and the future well being of the nation depends on how its children grow and develop.”

The court, while convicting Surender, relied on the victim’s statement which was recorded in-camera and noted she was consistent in her narration about the acts of the accused.

“After considering the cogent and reliable testimony of the victim and the documents placed on record, I am of the opinion that a case of attempt of penetrative sexual assault is made out against the accused. Accordingly, I hold him guilty for the offence,” the judge said.

According to the prosecution, the victim’s mother, a widow, lodged a complaint alleging that on January 19, 2013 Surender took her daughter to the terrace of his house, where she was playing with his daughter, and tried to commit penetrative sexual assault with her by gagging her mouth.

The child came home and informed her mother about the same after which a police complaint was lodged five days later.

The court rejected the contention of the convict that there was delay in lodging of FIR, saying that it has been explained by the victim and her mother that the child was threatened.

“In the present case considering that the victim’s mother is a widow, dependent on her parental family, for her own food and shelter as well as that of her daughter, dilemma, if any, on her part to report the matter to police would have been understandable.”

During the trial, Surender had denied the allegations and claimed that he was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case..

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