A special court has sentenced a man to five years of rigorous imprisonment for molesting a minor girl from his neighbourhood in Bhayandar town of Maharashtra’s Thane district.
Special judge V V Virkar convicted the accused Sadanand Vasant Lad (28) of charges under relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
In an order dated July 26, the judge sentenced the accused to five years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 7,000 on him, of which Rs 5,000 is to be paid to the victim as compensation.
Special public prosecutor Rekha Hiwrale informed the court that the victim was a Class 4 student at the time of the incident in 2017.
The accused had called the girl to his house on some pretext on the afternoon of December 17, 2017 and molested her after locking the door, she told the court.
When the victim raised an alarm, the accused attempted to gag her. But a woman from the neighbourhood heard the screams and rushed to scene and caught the man in the act, the prosecution said.
The court in its order noted that if the woman hadn’t intervened during the crime, the accused would have committed a severe act.
The accused did not deserve leniency and needed to be awarded maximum punishment provided for the offence proved against him, the court observed.