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[POCSO Act] Calcutta HC Upholds Life Sentence, Conviction of Tutor Found Guilty of Raping Minor Girl

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Tanisha Rana

Published on: September 25, 2022 at 20:19 IST

The verdict and life sentence given to a tutor found guilty of raping a young girl [Abbas Sk @ Abbas Hossain] were maintained by the Calcutta High Court on Friday.

The relationship between a teacher and a pupil has been called into question, according to a division bench comprising Justices Joymalya Bagchi and Ananya Bandyopadhyay.

“The relationship between a teacher and a student is considered to be pious in Indian society. The victim girl under no circumstances would fabricate or concoct such a gruesome incident causing excruciating pain to her body as evident from the testimony of the witnesses, who stated that the victim was tossing on bed,” the bench observed.

The girl, who was only 8 years old, would not have known that such a “cruel, disgusting, and despicable” conduct on her body at such a young age would destroy her entire character and haunt her in the future, according to the court.

“The victim girl of 8/9 years of age generally considers a teacher with high regard and respect. The family entrusting the children at the disposal of a teacher could never imagine the commission of such horrifying act disrupting their trust in a tutor or a teacher.”

“This is not a crime or blow against a victim girl but entirely a catastrophe dismantling the strata of social confidence in the relationship between a teacher and a student,” the bench said.

Hearing on a criminal appeal brought by Abbas SK, who contested his conviction for violating Sections 376(3) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (raping a minor) and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act (aggravated penetrative sexual assault).

He had also contested the special court’s decision to condemn him to life in prison in February 2019.

According to the prosecution, the defendant worked as a tutor in the victim’s hamlet.

On May 8, 2018, he sexually assaulted the victim before fleeing the scene. He also caused some minor injuries to them.

The girl’s evidence was deemed credible and convincing by the bench. It was also highlighted from the testimony of several prosecution witnesses that the conviction was supported by evidence of the crime’s commission.

“In absence of any other credible evidence the sole testimony of the victim whose tender body and mind suffered immensely subjected to such pain on record is sufficient to establish the prosecution case.”

“Minor contradictions in her evidence do not affect the prosecution case as the medical report vividly describes the commission of the offence upon the victim,” the Court said.

Thus, the court maintained the conviction and punishment and dismissed the appeal.