A youth, convicted for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl, has been sentenced to five years in jail by a Delhi court which observed that it was a “highly derogatory” offence.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, however, took a lenient view considering Arjun’s poor family background and awarded the minimum punishment of five years to the Delhi resident for the offence of aggravated sexual assault under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
“The offence for which the youth has been convicted is highly derogatory. However, I cannot lose sight of the fact that he is the sole bread earner of his family and is having responsibility of his aged father and minor children.
“Bearing in mind, the facts and circumstances of the case, interest of justice would be met if the convict is accorded minimum sentence prescribed under Section 10 of POCSO Act, for which, he stands convicted as he has been able to make out good mitigating circumstances in his favour,” the judge said.
The court, which imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on 27-year-old Arjun, also awarded the girl a compensation of Rs 10,000 to be released by District Legal Service Authority (north west).
“The concept of welfare and well being of children is basic for any civilised society and this has a direct bearing on the state of health and well being of the entire community, its growth and development.
“It has been time and again emphasised in various legislations, international declarations as well as judicial pronouncements that children are a ‘supremely important national asset’ and the future well being of a nation depends on how its children grow and develop,” it said.
It relied on testimonies of the minor and her mother, besides medical report of the accused, who had injury marks on his hand as the girl had bit him to escape his clutches.
“The evidence of the child victim is cogent, reliable and trustworthy and same is duly corroborated by the testimony of her mother. Even the injuries found on the hand of the accused and duly mentioned in his medical report support the testimony of the child victim,” it said.
According to prosecution, the girl had gone to the terrace of her building, when Arjun, who was also residing as a tenant there, sexually assaulted her.
She rescued herself by biting the accused’ hand and informed her parents, after which an FIR was lodged against him at Shalimar Bagh Police Station here and he was arrested.
During the trial, Arjun denied the allegations and claimed he was falsely implicated. He also sought leniency from the court saying he had responsibility of maintaining his aged father, wife and two minor children.