Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Delhi HC dismisses appeal against conviction in POCSO case, says accused violated trust being guardian of a victim

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal against a conviction and sentence under POCSO Act for raping a minor girl in her home in 2014.

The High Court noted that the appellant had abused and violated the trust shown by the parents of the victim by giving the task of being a guardian in their absence.

He had committed the offence when the parents of the victim were away. He was given the responsibility of looking after the victim and her younger sister. He was awarded life imprisonment not less than 14 years by the trial court in June 2021.

The Division Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta and Justice Anish Dayal dismissed the appeal filed by Puran.

The bench rejected the contention of the appellant that he is now more than 60 years of age and is the sole earning member of the family and has an unmarried daughter who has to get married.

The Court while dismissing the plea, observed, ” The accused was given the task of being a guardian of the victim and he abused and violated that trust thereby marring the life and future of the child, causing serious mental agony to the child victim, the younger sister and the parents who would be completely shaken by such an egregious, reprehensible and heinous act.”

The bench, in view of the contention of the appellant, further observed, “The trial court has awarded the sentence of imprisonment for life not less than 14 years, as per the mandate of Section 433A IPC. Thus this court deems it fit to not interfere with the sentence awarded by the trial court.”

The counsel for the appellant had contended that since the offence was committed in the year 2014, the provision prior to the 2019 amendment would apply which provides for punishment for a term not less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

This case is related to the incident that happened on the night of May 31, 2014, in southwest Delhi. The appellant had committed rape upon a 10-year-old girl and he threatened her that he would kill her if she disclosed the incident.

At the time of the incident, the parents of the victim had gone to their native place in Uttar Pradesh. 

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