Delhi court sentences man to life imprisonment for rape

Representative image. Photo credit: DH photos

A Delhi court has sentenced a man to life imprisonment for raping his 10-year-old daughter, observing that a rape survivor is treated as "outclass", seen as "easy prey to the lusty aggressors" and subjected to further "victimisation" in the society where sex and sexuality are topics of taboo.

Special Judge Seema Maini convicted the 40-year old man under section 6 (committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, and section 376 (2) (rape on a woman when she is under twelve years) of Indian Penal Code.

The court also imposed Rs 10,000 fine on him.

"The scenario is horrific and when this horrific offence comes to be committed by one's own father, who for the child, is supposed to be a saviour and a protector, the resultant physical, mental and psychological damage is of such magnitude, which is immeasurable and unfathomable," it said.

"The convict is one such aggressor, who subjected his own daughter to rape and he deserves no leniency. Any plea of mercy, on whatever grounds, has been put forth, loses its impact, when pitted against the misery and suffering of the victim be it past, present or further," it further said.

The court also directed the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DLSA) to pay a compensation of Rs five lakh to the victim, who is now 13-year-old.

"Since the amount is not sufficient, as the horrific memories shall continue to nag the child and bring about the scars which have been an obstacle in the child's emotional and psychological growth, the survivor is granted a further compensation of Rs five lakh," it said.

It further directed the secretary of DSLSA North district to ensure that the amount was disbursed to the mother of the survivor within one month and that it was disbursed in such a manner that it be used for the welfare and rehabilitation of the child.

According to the prosecution, on December 8, 2015, when the girl returned from school she found her father at home while her mother was at work and her two younger brothers were in school. Her father asked her to take her meal and go to sleep. When she went to bed, the accused came to her and raped her. Thereafter, he told her not to disclose the incident to anyone.

The next day, the accused again raped her. However, this time the child narrated the entire incident to her mother when she returned from work. On December 11, 2015, the girl called the Women Helpline and an official came to her house and called the police. A complaint was registered and the man was arrested.

The court, in its order, observed the survivor of rape is treated as a "outclass" and "ostracised" from the society and they have to face various hurdles in life.

It said: "In a society like ours, where sex and sexuality are topics, which are taboo, a rape victim, who has already suffered at the hands of the accused...was subjected to further 'victimisation'. The friends of the victim keep her at a distance, relatives also treat her like 'untouchable', and even the own family of the victim after a while stop empathising with her but rather treat her disrespectfully.

"A number of hurdles are faced by such victims at the time of their marriage, their job prospects get almost diminished, and even if a job does come forth, the victim is treated as easy prey to the lusty aggressors, in abundance in the society and at workplaces."

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