Man sentenced to 5-yr rigorous imprisonment for sexually assaulting minor in Delhi

A court here has sentenced a man to five years of rigorous imprisonment for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl here in 2015, saying the convict was “fully capable of understanding the consequences of his act” when he committed the crime.

The court said it was providing the convict with the maximum punishment under Section 8 (punishment of sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act as his criminal record showed him as a “repeat sexual offender”.

Additional Sessions Judge (POCSO) Jay Thareja was hearing the arguments on sentencing against M Narshiman, who was convicted of sexual harassment on February 15, 2023.

ASJ Thareja, in a judgment pronounced on Thursday, said the convict was around 23 years old when he sexually assaulted the 15-year-old victim and therefore “fully capable of understanding the consequences of his acts”.

He referred to a 2005 verdict of the Supreme Court according to which the imposition of sentence without considering its effect on the social order in many cases may be in reality a futile exercise.

“This court is cognisant of the fact that judicial sentencing requires deep consideration. In order to render an extremely just and proportional sentence, this court is required to draw a balance sheet of all the aggravating and mitigating circumstances and then strike a just balance between them,” he said.

The ASJ noted that another sessions court had convicted Narshiman under Section 6 (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO Act in December last year.

He said in the present case the sentence would be passed for the graver offence, which was Section 8 of the POCSO Act.

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Underlining that the court was passing the maximum punishment as the convict was a “repeat sexual offender,” the court sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment of five years along with a fine of Rs 2,000.

“In default of payment of fine, the convict shall undergo rigorous imprisonment for three months. The convict shall be entitled to benefit of Section 428 ( period of detention undergone by the accused to be set off against the sentence or imprisonment) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC),” the court said.

The Subhash Place police station had registered an FIR against Narshimanu under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 A (sexual harassment), and 354 D (stalking), and relevant sections of the POCSO Act.

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