New Delhi, March 31: The Delhi High Court has refused any leniency in the punishment awarded to a man for raping his minor step-daughter and making her pregnant.
Justice S.P. Garg denied any relief to Kishan Lal, who was sentenced to seven years' jail for the crime, saying he stood in a "fiduciary capacity and was duty bound to protect her".
Lal has challenged the July 2013 conviction and sentencing orders of trial court.
"The appellant (Lal) being the step-father of the victim is not imagined to have sexual relations even with her consent. He stood in a fiduciary capacity and was duty bound to protect her. Beside this, she (victim) was about 14 years old on the date of lodging the report; she was aged about 12 years when for the first time she was subjected to rape," said the court.
As per the prosecution, the girl used to live with her mother and step-father at Sangam Vihar. On May 3, 2011, the mother reported the incident to police disclosing that her husband used to repeatedly rape her daughter for the last two years after threatening her.
A medical examination confirmed the rape while the victim was also found to be pregnant. She underwent an abortion but the foetus was preserved and the DNA report confirmed Lal to be responsible.
The court said: "The victim aged 12 years was too innocent to understand the consequences of his act. She was scared to inform her mother and continued to be tormented by him for about two years. Under these circumstances, sentence order needs no modification...."
Lal, however, had contended that he was falsely implicated and later said the physical relationship was consensual. The court, however, refused to accept his contentions and relied upon the testimony of the victim.
"No ulterior motive was assigned to her for falsely implicating her step-father upon whom she was dependent for her livelihood. She was abused for about two years but was scared to lodge any complaint against him.
"Only when symptoms of pregnancy surfaced and she could not further conceal the nefarious act of the accused, she divulged the incident to her mother and grandmother. The medical evidence confirmed her version in its entirety," the court said.