New Delhi: A Delhi court has sentenced a man to 15 years in jail for sexually assaulting a toddler after luring the child into his house with a candy.
The court said the nature of the offence does not merit any leniency for the convict, whose criminal action was narrated by the child during the trial.
Additional Sessions Judge Gautam Manan jailed 54-year-old Shrikant, a resident of north Delhi, and directed the state legal services authority to pay Rs 3 lakh compensation to the child for her welfare and rehabilitation.
"In my considered opinion, the nature of offence committed by the convict does not demand any leniency. Interest of justice would be met, if the convict is sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for the period of 15 years and fine of Rs 5,000 under Section 6 (aggravated sexual assault) of the POCSO Act," the judge said.
The court held the man guilty of the offence while relying on the medical evidence as well as statement of the victim and said it can be safely concluded that the child suffered injury due to the sexual assault on her.
According to the prosecution, the incident took place in June, 2014, when Shrikant, who was the child's neighbour, lured her into his house with the promise of a mango and candy and sexually assaulted her.
When the victim's mother could not find her, she started searching and on hearing the child's screams, the woman went to the man's house and found her daughter, it said.
It said when the woman confronted the accused, he did not respond and neighbours gathered there and police was called.
During the trial, the man denied the allegations and claimed that he had given a loan to the girl's parents and when he demanded it back, they implicated him in the case.
The court, however, said no ulterior motive was attributed to the child for implicating the man in the case and in the absence of any prior animosity, the victim was not expected to level such serious allegations.
"In all her statements, she has implicated the accused with certainty and has attributed a specific role to him. The victim has duly identified the accused as culprit and no valid reasons exist to disbelieve her testimony," it said.