A special court here has sentenced a man to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment for raping his minor niece multiple times in 2016 when the girl was under his guardianship following the death of her mother.
Special court judge S J Ansari, hearing cases related to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, passed the judgment last week and the detailed order was made available on Wednesday.
The judge said it was found that the 46-year-old accused committed a “very serious offence” of repeatedly raping his own minor niece when she was under his guardianship for a short period of time.
The abuse of the trust by the accused towards his niece is, therefore, quite apparent on the record. Such an accused, therefore, does not at all merit any leniency, she added.
As per the prosecution, the victim, a 16-year-old girl, was brought up by her maternal family after the death of her mother. In November 2015, the victim’s father took the girl to reside with him at his home in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad.
The following year, the girl’s father sent her to Kandivali in Mumbai at her uncle’s place to help him in the household work and for sightseeing in Mumbai. During her stay there, the girl’s uncle raped her multiple times and threatened the girl against revealing it to anyone, the prosecution said.
The girl became pregnant at that time and her uncle dropped her back to Ahmedabad. The girl narrated the incident to her maternal aunt, who approached the police and lodged a complaint. A zero FIR was registered in that city and the case was later transferred to the police station in Kandivali.
During the course of the trial, the prosecution examined seven witnesses, including the victim and her aunt.
“Though the accused has indeed been in jail since his arrest in November 2016, the fact remains that he has been found to have committed a very serious offence – that is of having repeatedly raped his own minor niece when she was given in his guardianship for a short period of time. The abuse of the trust by the accused vis- -vis his niece is therefore, quite apparent on the record,” the court said.
“It will also have to be noted that the victim was a girl who had not even reached the age of 16 years when the accused repeatedly subjected her to intercourse for satisfying his lust. The effect which the said act would have had on her can therefore scarcely be imagined. Such an accused, therefore, does not at all merit any leniency,” she added.