Mumbai Special Court gives 5 years of Imprisonment for Molesting a Minor girl

Snehal Upadhyay-

Published on: August 26, 2021, at 15:59 IST

A Special Court in Mumbai has sentenced a man to a term of five years of imprisonment for sexually abusing a minor girl who was sleeping on the side of the road.

The Court while pronouncing the Judgment expressed its concern on how the children sleeping on pavements are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and they need to be protected from barbarous acts.

The incident happened on the interceding night of June 29 and 30, 2018, at around 1.45 am when the minor girl who was sleeping with her parents was picked up by the accused. After being picked up by the accused she was molested and by the time she started crying, the accused had fled.

Special Judge Bharti Kale considered the CCTV footage as a piece of direct evidence to convict the man. The man was convicted under the charges of Kidnapping and Sexual Harassment under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

“One shudders to think what the accused could have done with the victim if she was not able to return safely. From such incidents, the court finds that children, both boys and girls, sleeping on the pavement are so vulnerable to sexual exploitation. The accused in this case had easily taken away the victim as she slept in the open on the pavement, unprotected. No doubt there are CCTV cameras but the same helped in punishment and not in protection. Unless such a vulnerable lot of children are protected, they will keep on suffering,” the Court remarked.

The accused had claimed that the victim woke up to access the toilet but she was unable to wake her parents up so he had volunteered to help the victim and also denied that there was any molestation perpetrated from his side. He also stated that he was known to the victim as he used to work in a stall that was nearby.

In the trial, the mother of the victim and the victim herself were declared as hostile witnesses.

The Special Public Prosecutor Geeta Sharma asserted that the victim and her mother were “rustic” witnesses and cannot be relied upon because they were not able to depose their statement properly.

The Court contended that even if the medical report is not yet proved but still all the other evidence conclusively proves that the accused had not taken the victim to the toilet but sexually harassed her.

“The CCTV footage does not reflect that when the accused had picked up the victim, she was awake and she had asked for help…The CCTV footage falsifies the contention of the accused,” the Court stated.

Also Read: Delhi Court acquits man alleged of Sexual assaulting 4 minor girls

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