Man gets life term for raping, impregnating minor stepdaughter

A Delhi court has sentenced a man to life in jail for raping his minor stepdaughter repeatedly and impregnating her. It also asked the convict to pay ₹10.5 lakh to the victim as compensation to ensure her uninterrupted education and to secure her mental and emotional well-being.

Additional Sessions Judge Sunil Kumar Sharma, while sentencing the 36-year-old man, held that abusive behaviour by a father, even a step one, at the initial stages of a girl's life ends up negatively, impacting the way she views relationships in the future.

Crime at home

It began its order by quoting from Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’, “She did not stand alone but what stood behind her, the most potent moral force in her life, was the love of her father”. In the sentencing order passed on May 5, the court also noted that the crime had been committed within the “sacred precincts” of the home.

The accused had been convicted by the court in December last year. The court took note of a report on the impact of the crime on the survivor and also considered the paying capacity of the accused to order the compensation.

Trauma faced

The court also specifically noted the trauma the victim suffered through the sexual exploitation, the pregnancy and the eventual delivery of the child, in addition to the trauma of losing the child to adoption.

The matter had come to light when the victim's mother took her to the Civil Lines police station in July 2018 with a complaint that the minor girl's stepfather had raped her 10-12 times at their home. They had found out about this when the girl had complained of a stomach ache and her medical examination showed that she was pregnant.

Had threatened them

The police complaint added that the man had also allegedly raped the victim's sister and had threatened both girls and their mother that he would kill them if they disclosed this to anyone.

While the defence counsel had claimed that the man was the girl's "lover" and that their sexual relations were consensual, Additional Public Prosecutor Pankaj Ranga for the State had established the victim was a minor at the time of the crime. The court thus, noted that consent was immaterial in this case. It also relied upon the testimonies of the mother and the victim to reject the argument that the accused was a "paramour" of the girl.

The mother of the victim and the Delhi Commission for Women had sought maximum punishment for the convict in the case.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 7:59:01 am |