Lauding a 9-year-old rape survivor’s bravery for deposing against her mother’s live-in partner even after her mother exerted pressure on her not to testify against him, a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act court on Thursday convicted and sentenced the now 25-year-old accused to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The girl, who referred to the accused as “father”, was moved to a shelter home after the incident.
“Even though the victim was asked by her mother during monthly visits to the children’s home not to depose against the accused, by giving an inducement that they all will go to the village and reside together, the victim stood her ground and showed exemplary courage to depose against him,” special judge Bharti Kale said.
Special public prosecutor Rakesh Tiwari examined six witnesses, including the child, a doctor, police and the mother.
The mother, a sex worker and complainant in the case, had turned hostile in the court. But she did not support the prosecution’s case and told the court that she had gone to the police under the influence of alcohol.
The prosecution stated that on June 14, 2017, the mother had left the child at a neighbour’s house and gone to work at 10pm. When the mother returned at noon, the neighbour said the accused had taken the child home.
When the mother went home, she saw that both were asleep, the prosecution said. The prosecution submitted that later, when the mother took the child to visit her friend, the child told her that three days earlier, the accused had taken her home from the neighbour’s house and raped her.
The child was examined at Nair Hospital after the mother lodged a police complaint on June 17, 2017.