LUCKNOW: Delivering justice in record time, a special court for Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act concluded a rape trial within nine back-to-back working days, convicting the 22-year-old accused in Auriyya district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. The accused was awarded life imprisonment for raping a four-year-old girl and a fine of Rs 3 lakh was also imposed on him which would be paying to the victim’s family.
Auraiya is about 180km south-west of the state capital, Lucknow. According to Auraiya SP Suniti, Shaym Veer was convicted by Additional District Judge (ADJ) Rajesh Chauhan of POCSO Court in nine working days (total 10 days, including a Sunday) by conducting daily hearings in the case. “We pushed for the speedy trial in order to avoid the possibility of witnesses turning hostile over time. It comes to the advantage of the accused often leading to his acquittal. So, we were pushing to file the charge-sheet at the earliest,” said the SP.
Giving the details, the SP said that the girl was raped by Shyam Veer, who was her neighbour, on the afternoon of August 1. “The accused lured the victim to his house when she was playing outside her home and raped her. Her parents lodged an FIR under section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and section 5/6 of the POCSO Act,” said Suniti.
Section 5/6 of the POCSO Act provides the option of stringent punishment, including death penalty, for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault on a child.
The SP said that everybody from the investigating officer (IO) to the prosecution officer and the court played a significant role in making this case an example of swift delivery of justice in a heinous crime.
All praise for her team, the SP named S-I Brijesh Bhargava, the IO, crediting him with extra ordinary alacrity with which he arrested the accused a day after the crime, on August 2, collection all the corroborative evidence professionally.
“He recorded the witnesses’ statements and we filed the charge-sheet on August 18 and it was accepted by the court on August 20,” said Suniti.
Total nine witnesses, including the victim and her parents, were recorded in the case by the S-I . “The child boldly gave her statement to the court --thanks to the effective counselling she received by women constables Pramila Yadav and Shobha Devi, who had also registered the FIR and recorded her statement,” he said.
The S-I also thanked Dr Seema Gupta, who medically examined the girl, and anganwadi worker Kalpana, who helped the court verify the victim’s age. “Kalpana is posted at the pre-primary school where the girl went. The child had gone there even on the day of the crime,” he said. Bhargava said an independent witness, Madhu Bala, had spotted the accused taking the girl away.