Mumbai

67-year-old man convicted of molesting daughter’s friends

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Court sentences accused to five years in jail for sexually assaulting 12-year-olds

A special protection of children from sexual offences (POCSO) court convicted a 67-year-old auto driver, Rizwan Shaikh, for sexually assaulting two girls who were his 12-year-old daughter’s friends, and sentenced him to five years in jail.

Shaikh’s daughter and her two friends used to go for a private tuition after school. On December 26, 2013, the tuition teacher called the mother of one of the girls and said Shaikh had committed some wrong act with her daughter. It was then disclosed that over the Christmas vacation, Shaikh would call both the girls to his house, disrobe them and himself, and rub himself on them. He did this on multiple occasions.

Soon thereafter, a complaint was filed at the Ghatkopar police station and Shaikh was charged under Section 354 A (sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 4 (punishment for penetrative sexual assault) and 8 (punishment for sexual assault) of the POCSO Act.

After conducting the trial, additional sessions judge Sanjashree Gharat, appointed under POCSO, said, “The evidence of the prosecutrix (minors) inspires confidence. They both narrated the incidents in detail and they are not found to be tutored. There is no contradiction and omission pointed out to the investigating officer. There is no reason for the victims to falsely implicate Shaikh,” the court said.

The Bench held that the offences proved against Shaikh were serious in nature. “He committed the heinous act with the victims, who are friends of his daughter. The victims have to carry that mental trauma throughout their life. Therefore, such an offence must be awarded maximum punishment not only to deter the accused from committing such offences in future but also to deter the public at large, who indulge in such crimes. If such accused are shown leniency then it will not send across a good message to society. Rather, it will increase such offences day by day,” the court said.

Shaikh was sentenced to five years under Section 8 of POCSO Act and directed to pay ₹10,000. He was also acquitted of other charges.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 1:57:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/67-year-old-convicted-of-molesting-daughters-friends/article30546609.ece

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