New Delhi, April 28: At a time when the nation is witnessing one horrific incident after another pertaining to rapes of children, a Delhi court on Friday made some detailed observations regarding how sexual abuse destroys a child's life forever.
The Delhi court, while sending a man to jail for five years for molesting an eight-year-old in 2016, said that the scars and bad memories of sexual abuse continue to haunt a child and are a hurdle in her emotional and psychological growth.
Additional Sessions Judge Seema Maini awarded five years of rigorous imprisonment to a factory worker Mohan Kumar from Nepal, along with a fine of Rs 20,000 and said he had outraged the girl's modesty, robbed her dignity and nipped her confidence.
"Modesty is to a woman what fragrance is to flower. If you rob a flower of its fragrance, the flower loses its worth, so unto a woman. Outraging a woman's modesty, not just hurts her bodily self, but her whole persona and very existence.
"Outraging a woman's modesty robs her of her dignity, nips her confidence and cripples her existence. This is what the convict is guilty of, and therefore the offence committed by him cannot be treated lightly, and he deserves no leniency," the judge said.
It also asked the Delhi State Legal Services Authority to grant a compensation of Rs one lakh to the victim. "As the scars and bad memories, which have and shall continue to haunt the child and be a hurdle in her emotional and psychological growth, resorting to the provisions under section 33 (8) of POCSO Act, the victim is granted a further compensation of Rs one lakh only," the court said.
According to the complaint filed by the girl's mother, on May 25, 2016, Kumar had caught hold of the girl's hand, dragged her to a corner near her house and tried to molest her. The complaint said that the girl's mother, on hearing her scream, came out of the house and apprehended the convict.
Kumar, during the trial, claimed innocence and said he was being framed in the case due to some previous enmity. He also claimed in the court that he had merely asked for the phone in the girl's hand. However, the court rejected all his claims saying his statement has established his presence at the spot.
In the recent times, the nation witnessed several protests following the horrific rape incidents in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua and Uttar Pradesh's Unnao. The main trigger for protests was how a section of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to shield the culprits in both the cases. Since then several cases of child sexual assaults were reported from various parts of the country.
After its "studied silence" over crimes against women, especially minor girls, the Narendra Modi government approved the ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping girls under 12 recently. The ordinance has got mixed reactions as many feel that laws hold no meaning if the authorities do not bring cases of rape to justice.