Legal Correspondent: Tiasha Sinha Ray
October 21, 2021:- On 20th October, Kerala High Court convicted a man under section 376 of IPC for repeatedly committing sexual assault and rape on his own daughter. He got 12 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine ₹ 50,000 awarded by Kalpetta Sessions Court. Justice R. Narayana Pisharadi was dealing with the case of a girl who was repeatedly sexually abused by her own father and finally gave birth to his child a year later. The High Court mentioned that it was a case which was, "worse than a gamekeeper becoming a poacher or a treasury guard becoming a robber".
The prosecution's case was that the accused, the victim's father, repeatedly sexually harrased and rape her more than once. The girl became pregnant and gave birth to a boy. The court remarked that, " There can never be more graver and heinous crime than the father committing rape on his own daughter. The protector then becomes the predator.” After reporting this crime to the police, the sub- inspector registered this case under sections 376 and 506 of the IPC and section 6 of the POCSO Act. However the prosecution failed to prove the age of the victim and quashed the conviction and sentence given under section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO). The trial Court sentenced the accused to imprisonment and fine for the same. While acknowledging that the victim girl confessed to having physical relation with another person, the court observed that this in no way affect the credibility of her testimony. The High court observed, " Even in a case where it is shown that the victim is a girl of easy virtue or a girl habituated to sexual intercourse, it may not be a ground to absolve the accused from the charge of rape. Even assuming that the victim is previously accustomed to sexual intercourse, that is not a decisive question.”
The accused is a person who was obliged to provide protection and assistance to the victim girl. It was a case where she gave birth to a male child due to rape by her own father. The suffering that the tortured girl endoured is unimaginable. The Court said that in these circumstances, the accused had no right to any flexibility regarding the punishment.
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