HC upholds man’s five year jail term for sexually assaulting 7-yr-old boy, calls child’s statement of sterling quality

The Delhi High Court has upheld five years’ imprisonment awarded to a man for sexually assaulting a seven-year-old boy in his house, noting the statement of the child victim was of “sterling quality” and his testimony inspired confidence.

The high court said it is not expected that a child of a tender age would behave like an adult by raising the alarm promptly and added that in this case, the victim, with his vocabulary and comprehension, was able to describe the incident and had a clear picture in describable words.

“The court cannot lose sight of the fact that alleged offence was committed with a child victim of tender age who got frightened by the threats extended to him by the accused as well as by the alleged act of the accused and it is not expected that a child of such a tender age would behave like an adult by raising the alarm promptly,” Justice Jasmeet Singh said, while rejecting thhe convict’s claim that he was falsely implicated in the case.

The high court added that the boy at 7 years of age, is not expected nor is it possible for a child of his age to recapitulate the harrowing incidents with mathematical precision.

“The statement of the child victim is of sterling quality. The combined evidence of the prosecution lays down the foundational facts which disclose the commission of offence and this court finds no reason to disbelieve or discredit the statement of the child victim. Hence, the testimony inspires confidence,” it said.

The high court dismissed the man’s appeal challenging his conviction and sentence in the case.

He was convicted of the offences of aggravated sexual assault, sexual harassment of a child under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, house trespass and criminal intimidation under the IPC.

According to the prosecution, the accused man along with his friend had entered the child’s house after threatening him to open the door and sexually assaulted the minor. The man had threatened the child not to disclose the incident to anyone.

Later, the child informed his mother about the incident after which a case was lodged by the police.

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The man had claimed he was falsely implicated in the case because of a previous animosity between him and the victim’s mother.

The high court said the child’s testimony was clear, reliable and trustworthy and the trial court’s judgment was also well reasoned.

The trial court has also rightly relied upon the judgments to state that the testimony of the victim alone is sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused and minor contradictions or insignificant discrepancies in the statement of the minor victim should not be a ground for throwing out an otherwise reliable prosecution case, it said.

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