Delhi High Court has rejected a man’s plea against a 10-year jail term awarded to him for raping a seven-year-old girl in 1996, saying the “abhorring act” leaves a “permanent scar” on the personality of a child victim which hinders her growth.
The court noted in its verdict that the child victim had narrated the entire incident succinctly before the trial court during recording of her statement and there were no reasons which warranted imposition of a lesser sentence to the accused keeping in view the brutality of the crime.
“Coming to the quantum of sentence, the victim was only seven years old child when this gruesome and abhorring act of committing rape was committed by the accused (Doodh Nath),” Justice Sunita Gupta said.
“Such an act leaves a permanent scar on the personality of the child, inhibiting growth and development. It instills a feeling of fear, insecurity and a brooding sense of shame and guilt for no fault of the victim,” the court said.
The trial court awarded 10 year jail to Nath along with a fine of Rs 18,000 after convicting him for the offence under section 376(2)(f) (raping a woman below 12-year-old) of IPC.
According to the police, on April 18, 1996 the child had gone to play outside her house when Nath, who was residing in a nearby temple, took her to his room and raped her.
It said that Nath left her outside her house after which she narrated the incident to her parents who lodged an FIR in the matter and the accused was arrested.
During adjudication of the case before the trial court, the accused had claimed that he was falsely implicated.
Nath was convicted and sentenced by the trial court in July 2000 after which he had filed the appeal.
During arguments on appeal, his counsel said the girl had not taken Nath’s name during the initial stage of the probe and his client was convicted solely on the testimony of the child who was 9-year-old during recording of evidence.
The police had opposed his plea saying the entire evidence was minutely scrutinised by the trial court for arriving at the conclusion that it was Nath who had committed the gruesome act with the child.
The high court, while dismissing his appeal, directed him to surrender before the trial court while noting that his sentence was suspended and he was released on bail in November 2000.
( Source – PTI )