A Kerala court has convicted and sentenced a man to seven years in prison for molesting a minor autistic boy 10 years ago and said that every one owes a special duty to cater to the needs of mentally challenged children.
Special Judge Aaj Sudarsan convicted and sentenced the 41-year-old driver under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for sexually assaulting the boy in 2013.
While imposing the sentence and a fine of Rs 25,000 on the convict, the court
said the punishment was not only meant to be deterrence to the society, “it should also send a message that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence and the shame is always on the aggressor”.
The court further said that in the instant case the convict sexually assaulted a mentally disabled child taking advantage of its disability.
“Every one owes a special duty to cater to the needs of mentally challenged children. Children, adolescents and adults who are mentally retarded are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation.
“They are vulnerable due to their life long dependence on others, relatively powerless position in society, emotional and social insecurities and lack of education regarding sexuality and sexual abuse,” the judge observed.
The court, while convicting the accused, said that the boy gave evidence with due clarity “which inspires confidence”.
“It is to be noted that a child with mental retardation, whose brain has not developed, has a lack of thinking power so as to state falsehood or imagine and depose a false fact,” it said.
The court also noted that the man had been accused in another POCSO case, but the same was settled with the victim.
Public Prosecutor R S Vijay Mohan said the incident occurred back in 2013 when the accused pulled the boy into a bus and sexually assaulted the child.
The child, who was undergoing treatment for autism, had gone to dispose of garbage at a place near his home when he was accosted and sexually assaulted by the accused, the prosecutor said.