New Delhi, Apr 1: A 68-year-old man has been sent to 10 years in jail for sexually assaulting a minor girl in a temple by a Delhi court which observed that children are a supremely important asset.
Additional Sessions Judge Gautam Manan awarded the jail term to Jaipal, a resident of Mangolpuri, for the offence of aggravated penetrative sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The court also said the concept of "welfare and well being of children" is basic for any civilised society and this has a direct bearing on the state of health and well being of the entire community, its growth and development.
"It has been time and again emphasized in legislation, international declarations as well as judicial pronouncements that the children are a 'supremely important national asset' and the future well being of the nation depends on how its children grow and develop," the judge said.
The court also awarded a compensation of Rs one lakh to the eight-year-old girl to provide her restorative and compensatory justice and directed Delhi State Legal Service Authority of north district to ensure that the amount be given to the victim's parents for her welfare and rehabilitation.
"Coming now to the aspect of compensation to the victim, who is a minor girl. The apex court has time and again observed that that subordinate courts trying the offences of sexual assault have the jurisdiction to award the compensation to the victims being an offence against the basic human right and violative of Article 21 of the Constitution," it said.
It added that the provision of POCSO Act also mandates that in addition to the punishment to the accused, the victim be granted compensation for physical and mental trauma caused to her and for her rehabilitation.
According to the prosecution, on November 29, 2012, the victim had gone to market and when she got late, her mother started searching for her.
When the child returned home, she complained of pain in her private parts and told her mother that she was raped in a room in the temple by a man living there, it said, adding that, when she started crying, the man sent her back home.