Man sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping 5-year-old girl

A court in Maharashtra’s Thane district has sentenced a labourer to 20 years in jail after convicting him for raping a 5-year-old girl five years ago.

In her order on Tuesday, Additional Sessions Judge and Special Judge (POCSO) V V Virkar also imposed a fine of Rs 20,300 on the convict, Suraj Balu Mahanto (35).

Special Public Prosecutor Rekha Hiwrale told the court that Mahanto in September 2018 kidnapped the child from near her house and raped her. A case was registered against him under the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The judge noted that the prosecution had successfully proved the charges against the accused and said he needed to be convicted under Section 376 (AB), which carried a minimum punishment of 20 years, and POCSO Act and sentenced.

“Since punishment provided for the offence under section 376(AB) of the IPC is greater in degree as compared to the punishment provided for the offences under POCSO, he is sentenced only for the offence punishable under section 376(AB) of the IPC,” the court said.

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