Mumbai

Man gets life sentence for raping minor daughter

Court dismisses his plea that he is only earning member

Mumbai: The special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court convicted a man to life imprisonment for raping his minor daughter, and dismissed his plea to grant him the minimum sentence because he is the only earning member of the family.

Upendra Sharma (41), a carpenter by profession and the father of the 12-year-old girl and three boys, was found by his wife sleeping next to their daughter on the night of May 17, 2017, at their chawl in Mankhurd. The next day, the wife took her daughter to the public toilet and asked her what happened. The girl told her mother, “Papa participates in lewd activities with me.”

The daughter further told her mother that for the past five to six days, once everyone had gone to sleep, her father used to wake her up, remove her underwear and have sex with her. But the wife could not confront her husband about it.

After a few days, the minor complained of stomach ache and her mother took her to a hospital, where the non-governmental organisation, Dilasa, asked her what was wrong. The mother opened up to members of the NGO and the police were informed thereafter.

The Mankhurd police charged Mr. Sharma under Section 376 (rape), Indian Penal Code and Section 4 (punishment for penetrative sexual assault), Section 6 (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault), Section 8 (punishment for sexual assault) and Section 10 (punishment for aggravated sexual assault) of POCSO.

The charge sheet was filed and charges were framed against him. Mr. Sharma’s defence was that his daughter would wander everywhere, for which he would reprimand her, and that she was falsely implicating him in the case.

The victim told the court that her father would coerce her to have intercourse with her for four to five times. He would make her swear on her mother and threatened to beat her if she would disclose this to anyone. The victim’s testimony was consistent but the mother turned hostile. Special (POCSO) Judge A.H. Laddhad said the accused has not disputed sexual penetrative assault on the girl, but only disputed it was committed by him. On the basis of the sole testimony of the victim as well as other prosecution witnesses, the prosecution has proved that the accused had intercourse with his daughter.

Mr. Sharma pleaded that he be granted the minimum sentence as he is the only earning member of the family, and that the family will starve. However, the court ruled, “Considering the nature of the offence, the relationship of the accused with the victim, I am inclined to award the maximum sentence”, and sentenced him to life and a fine of ₹5,000.

The court also directed the Maharashtra State Legal Service Authority to compensate the victim for physical as well as mental trauma, as well as help with her education and upkeep.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:36:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/man-gets-life-sentence-for-raping-minor-daughter/article25106479.ece

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