School Van Driver Gets Seven Years’ Rigorous Imprisonment for Sexually Assaulting Girl

A court here has sentenced a 35-year-old school van driver to seven-year rigorous imprisonment for committing aggravated sexual assault on a 10-year-old girl.

The court observed that the convict must be awarded such a sentence to discourage other “like-minded people” in society from committing such offences. The seriousness of the offence lies not in the extent of punishment it carries but in the impact it has on the social psyche and public order, it said.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Susheel Bala Dagar was hearing a case against Anuj, who was convicted under Section 10 (aggravated sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

According to the prosecution, Anuj was the driver of the victim’s school van and committed aggravated sexual assault on her. He also threatened to kill the girl, in case she disclosed his act to her family members, it said.

ASJ Dagar said there was no ground to show leniency to the convict as he, despite having his own children, committed such a “disgusting assault” on the child whom he used to drive to school in the van for five years from the date of the incident.

“Taking into consideration the aggravating and mitigating circumstances, including the gravity of the offence, the age of the child victim and the convict, the family condition of the convict and the child victim, and social and economic factors governing them, the convict Anuj is sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 10 of the POCSO Act,” the court said in an order passed on October 10.

It said the convict’s act was a “ridiculous form of enjoyment” for him but a mental torture for the victim who was alone with the convict in the van at the time of the incident.

“Abusers who indulge in such perverted acts do not seem to realise that they are infringing on the fundamental right to privacy of body of the victim child and due to such offenders, the children are not safe inside such places where they would usually expect not to be violated,” the court said.

In the present case, it said, the minor victim was sent in the school van where the driver was in a position of trust and confidence.

The court said zero tolerance for crimes against children is the need of the hour.

“The seriousness of the offence lies not in the extent of punishment it carries but in the impact it has on the social psyche and public order,” it said.

Also Read

It said people who indulge in “such enjoyment” do not seem to realise how a child may be affected by their acts.

“The convict must be awarded such a sentence which discourages the other like-minded people of society from (committing) such offences,” it added.

The court said the victim had been subjected to aggravated sexual assault and mental as well as physical trauma and due to this incident, the victim and her family members were subjected to humiliation.

“The incident has left a grave impact on her mental, physical and emotional being for which she needs financial support,” the court said, awarding the victim a compensation of Rs 3 lakh.

Related Articles

Latest Articles