Chennai

Ayanavaram sexual abuse case: Four jailed till death, one handed life term

Offenders in the Ayanavaram sexual assault case being produced at the Mahila court on Monday

Offenders in the Ayanavaram sexual assault case being produced at the Mahila court on Monday   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

Of the remaining convicts, one was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and nine were handed five-year terms.

A special court on Monday sentenced five sexual offenders to life imprisonment after they were convicted on charges of grave offences, including aggravated penetrative sexual assault, on an 11-year-old girl with hearing impairment at an apartment complex in Ayanavaram in 2018.

Four of them — Ravikumar, 58, a lift operator; Suresh, 34, plumber; Abishek, 25; and Palani, 42, a secuirty staff — will have to undergo imprisonment for the remainder of their natural life, or until death, while Rajasekar, 42, a house-keeping staff, has been sentenced to life imprisonment. On Saturday, the special court convicted 15 of the 17 offenders. P.Gunasekaran was let off and another died during the trial. Amid tight security, the convicts were brought to the court complex located in the Madras High Court premises on Monday

R.N. Manjula, special judge for exclusive trial of cases under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act , held in camera proceedings and pronounced sentences on the convicts in the presence of the special public prosecutor and defence counsel.

Special Public Prosecutor N. Ramesh said, “Initially, the special judge observed that the convicts committed offences which attracted death sentence and added that after careful consideration of the circumstances, four of them were sentenced to imprisonment for the remainder of their life and one was sentenced to life imprisonement. They were all charged with committing penetrative sexual assault on the victim child.”

Of the remaining convicts, one was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and nine were handed five-year terms.

In July 2018, personnel from the All-Women Police Station, Ayanavaram, arrested 17 persons — all of them service staff at the apartment complex where the girl lived with her family. The accused had reportedly committed aggravated sexual assault and aggravated penetrative assault on several occasions, from January 15 to July 14, 2018.

“In this case, repeated penetrative sexual assault has been proved to have been committed on the victim child. Considering the physical and mental truama undergone by the victim and her family and other factors surrounding the occurrence, expenses incurred towards travel and for the immediate expenses, I feel that an interim compensation of ₹1.5 lakh should be awarded,” said the judge.

The court ordered the State government to grant the interim compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund or any other scheme or fund prescribed under Pocso rules.

“We have completed the trial of the case within a year, though the accused preferred appeals before the higher court at the time of trial and more than 50 such petitions were filed. We overcame all hurdles and the trial court delivered the judgment,” said Mr. Ramesh. Defence counsel Shaikh Mehrunisa said, “ Certainly, we will prefer an appeal before the High Court.”

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 4:56:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ayanavaram-sexual-abuse-case-four-jailed-till-death-one-handed-life-term/article30726170.ece

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