Kashmir

Minor Girl’s Harassment Case, Man Goes To Jail For Three Years

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SRINAGAR: A special Fast Track court in Srinagar presided over by Judge Aarti Mohan; dealing with cases registered under POSCO Act sentenced a man to an imprisonment of three years along with fine of Rs. 50000 under section 7/8 of POCSO Act.

The matter pertained to the harassment of an 11-year-old girl and an FIR No.52 /2019 in this regard was registered at Kursoo Rajbagh police station Srinagar in 2019.

The convict has been held guilty of offences punishable under section354, 354-A RPC and section 7/8 of POCSO Act 2018 by virtue of judgment dated 28-04-2023.

Public Prosecutor Meena Gowher said that the accused should be awarded the maximum punishment  of five years as prescribed under law along with fine, which this court deems fit in the facts and circumstances of the case.

Stating that the deterrence against the convicts in such cases is the need of the hour, the Public Prosecutor said, “The offence committed by the convict is against a minor girl and as such the convict does not deserve any leniency by the court and should be awarded the maximum punishment prescribed under law.”

The convict was produced before the court from central jail in presence of the public prosecutor Meena Gowher and Advocate Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, convicts counsel in the case and heard the quantum of punishment.

On the other hand counsel for the convict said that the court should take into consideration the mitigating circumstances while awarding the punishment to the accused.

“The convict is a man of advanced age and falls in the category of senior citizen, a father of three daughters. Due to his involvement in the instant FIR, wherein he has been convicted, his reputation has suffered and two of his daughters have not been married,” the counsel submitted before the court, adding that court should also consider the fact that all the witnesses in the case were family members of the victim.

“I have considered the arguments advanced by both the learned Public Prosecutor and learned defense counsel. The court while awarding punishment is influenced by numerous factors and no straight jacket formula is provided for determination of the quantum of punishment in law. The quantum of sentence depends upon the background facts of the case, antecedents of the accused, delay in conclusion of the case, age of the accused, his physical health condition, the nature of the offence and last but not the least the reformative deterrent and punitive aspects of punishment,” the court ruled.

Court further ruled that, “In the case in hand the convict is senior citizen of more than 60 years of age at present having no prior criminal antecedents whatever. It also cannot be denied that he may be the sole bread provider for his family which comprises of two unmarried daughters. However, while awarding punishment the court is also required to take note that the object for which the penal laws have been enacted do not remain unfulfilled. The POCSO Act was enacted since a strong need was felt to take stringent measures to deter the rising trend of child sex abuse in the court. Its purpose is to ensure that there is a healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child. The convict has committed sexual assault on a minor girl forgetting that he himself is a father of three daughters.” it said.

Court stated that keeping in view the above facts while taking into account the mitigating the circumstances also the accused is awarded simple imprisonment of 3years along with fine of Rs. 50000/- under section 7/8 of POCSO Act.

On failure of payment of fine accused shall undergo further imprisonment of 6 months.

Court ruled that offence against the victim, who at the time of commission of offence was merely of 11 years of age caused her mental and psychological trauma. As such a compensation of Rs two lakh shall be awarded to the victim.

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( With inputs from : kashmirlife.net )

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