Court Awards Life Sentence to Hospital Staff for Sexually Assaulting Minor in 2018

A Delhi court has sentenced a hospital’s housekeeping staff to life imprisonment for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old patient in 2018, holding that the convict was a threat to people and should be kept away from society.

Additional Sessions Judge Amit Sahrawat was hearing the case against Radhey Shyam, a sweeper, who was convicted under Section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the penal provision for rape.

The convict was accused of having committed the offences in September 2018. The victim was admitted to hospital with complaint of severe abdominal pain.

The judge noted the maximum punishment under Section 6 of the POCSO Act–not less than 20 years imprisonment which could extend to life — was “greater in degree” than the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provision for rape.

“The offence committed by convict is so heinous and gruesome that the punishment of any specific period exceeding 20 years shall not be sufficient to balance his misdeeds because he is not entitled to remain in society and he should be kept out of society as long as possible,” the court said in its order dated January 15.

“Convict is a threat to society, therefore, he must be kept out of society,” it added.

The court sentenced Radhey Shyam to “imprisonment for life or imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life.”

It said the convict did not deserve leniency.

“The offence of rape or aggravated penetrative sexual assault upon a child of just 12 years and nine months is gruesome and heinous. It is going to affect the entire life of the victim Such heinous offences do not deserve any leniency because these kinds of offences are going to affect the conscience of society at large and (such) convicts should be dealt with an iron hand,” the court said.

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Noting the aggravating circumstances of the case, the court said the convict was in a position of authority being a member of the housekeeping staff but he did not consider that the minor girl was in severe abdominal pain.

It said the mitigating factors in the case were that the convict was poor and there was no one to look after his three children.

The court said, “If undue leniency is shown, it will undermine the common man’s confidence in the justice delivery system.”

The court said it did not award Radhey Shyam the death sentence as the crime he had committed was not in the “rarest of rare” category.

The court also awarded a Rs 10.5 lakh compensation to the victim.

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