Delhi HC upholds 10 yr jail term for man who sexually exploited minor son

The Delhi High Court has upheld the conviction and 10-year sentence awarded to a man for sexually exploiting his four year old son, saying the crime was not only against the individual but the fabric of the society and family.

Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain, in an order released on Friday, dismissed the father’s appeal against the trial court orders of conviction under POCSO Act and the Indian Penal Code and sentence, holding that the crime of the appellant, who was under a social, familial and moral duty to protect his son, cannot be taken lightly.

“It is a crime not only against the individual but against the fabric of the society and family,” said the court as it held that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the man committed aggravated penetrative sexual assault upon his son.

“The trial court also observed and considered that the child victim was aged 4 years at the time of incident when the appellant sexually assaulted him. The trial court has already taken lenient view against the appellant and there is no reason to interfere in the punishment awarded to the appellant. The present appeal is accordingly dismissed,” the court concluded in its order.

The court observed that child sexual abuse was a serious problem impacting a large numbers of children and it deserved adequate attention of every stakeholder connected with administration of justice.

The man urged the court to adopt a lenient approach while sentencing him as he belonged to the lower strata of society and, being a labourer, the financial condition of his family was bad.

Justice Jain, however, asserted it was the solemn duty of the court to award adequate punishment to a person accused of child sexual abuse irrespective of his social, economic background or domestic responsibilities.

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The court held that the trial court’s decision was well-reasoned and passed after considering relevant facts proved on record and there is no reason to interfere with it.

“In the present case, the appellant being the biological father of PW2/victim A was under social, family, moral duty to protect PW2/victim A but the appellant had sexually exploited PW2/victim A on various occasions. The crime committed by the appellant cannot be taken lightly,” it stated.

The court said sentencing has a significant role to play in the future prevention of crime.

One of the prime objectives of the criminal law is imposition of an appropriate, adequate, just and proportionate sentence commensurate with the nature and gravity of the crime and the manner in which the crime is executed, it added.

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