Setting a record, a special Court at Auraiya (Uttar Pradesh) passed an order of conviction under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, within 9 days of filing of charge sheet. The police had submitted chargesheet within twenty days of the offence.
The Act gives an outer limit of one year from the date of taking cognizance for completing trial. Last month, taking note of the acute delay in disposal of POCSO cases, the Supreme Court had passed directions to increase the number of special courts in states.
Background of case
An FIR under Section 376 of IPC and Sections 5 and 6 of POCSO was lodged on 01.08.2019 against one, Shyamveer, aged 19 years, who was accused of having trapped a 4 years old girl in his house and having violated her. The FIR disclosed that he penetrated his fingers into her private parts which resulted in severe bleeding. The victim informed the incident to her mother who later informed the victim's father, the complainant in the case.
On receiving the complaint, the police immediately arrested the accused and recorded the victim's statement under Section 161 CrPC. The medical examination of the victim was conducted by Dr. Seema Gupta on 02.08.2019. After completing the investigation within 20 days, the charge sheet was filed before the special POCSO Court on 20.08.19 in the case captioned "State of Uttar Pradesh v. Shyamveer".
The court framed charges under the aforementioned provisions on 21.08.2019 and wrapping up the trial expediently in just 8 days, Addl. District & Sessions Judge Sh. Rajesh Chaudhary, passed the order of conviction on 29.08.2019.
A statement of the accused was recorded under Section 313 CrPC wherein he denied all charges. The accused said that the FIR was inspired by a personal vendetta of the complainant. Further he contended that the victim was merely a 4 years old child and her statements could not be relied upon by the court.
Rejecting the arguments made by the accused, the court observed the following:
While passing the order of sentence, the court relied on Deepak Rai, etc. v. State of Bihar, (2013) 10 SCC 421, wherein it was held that young age of the accused could not be a mitigating factor during passing the sentence. The court also noted that in Satya Narayan Tiwari @ Jolly & Ors. v. State of U.P., (2010) 13 SCC 689, the Supreme Court had held that "Crimes against women are not ordinary crimes committed in a fit of anger or for property. They are social crimes. They disrupt the entire social fabric. Hence, they call for harsh punishment".
Based on the aforesaid materials and observations, the court convicted the accused under the said provisions and sentenced him to life imprisonment and fine of Rs. 2,00,000/-.
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