A special POCSO court convicted a 40-year-old man for repeatedly raping his 14-year-old step-daughter and sentenced him to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment.
The 40-year-old was booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act. The victim is 14 years old and studies in class IX. Her biological father was addicted to alcohol, causing her mother to divorce and remarry.
It is alleged that in October 2019, when the victim was sleeping on the floor beside her sisters, she felt hands on her body and when she woke up, she found her stepfather sleeping next to her. When she tried to stop him, the man gagged her and forcibly had sex with her, threatening to kill her if she told about it.
When her mother went to her maternal home, the man once again forcibly had physical relations with the girl. When the mother returned from her journey, the girl told her everything. The woman took her daughter to the hospital, where they learned she was 16 weeks pregnant. An FIR was registered against the step father and charges were framed.
During the hearing, the man’s lawyer told the court that the girl and her mother had turned hostile. The court will now have to rely on the DNA report.
“The victim girl has accepted that her step father is in jail and is the only earning member of the family. The mother is not ready to put him behind bars. She has said that whatever wrong her stepfather has done, she wants to forgive him and does not want to keep him behind bars.
However, the special court convicted the stepfather on the basis of the DNA report. “The crime is heinous, a step father who repeatedly raped the victim girl, who is a child below 18 years of age. The DNA report has established that the victim girl was pregnant and the accused is the biological father… It is indeed a sad, very serious and heinous act by the accused,” the court said.
Noting that the prosecution had proved reasonable doubt through scientific evidence, the court observed, “However, the victim’s mother and the girl have decided not to support the prosecution’s case and have put on record the DNA test report. has altered the scientific evidence to prove the guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable doubt.”
The bench further said, “The evidence and material available on record clearly show that despite the turning hostile of the crucial prosecution witness, the prosecution has conclusively proved its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”
After this, the special court while passing its order convicted the stepfather and sentenced him to 20 years rigorous imprisonment. The court also imposed a fine on the person and said that if the fine is recovered, an amount of Rs 34,000 should be paid to the victim.
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