NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has upheld the conviction of a man for sodomising an eight-year-old but reduced his jail term from three years to 18 months, noting that he was about 19 years of age at the time of the incident, and is an illiterate person.
Dharmender had challenged the May 2019 judgment of a metropolitan magistrate whereby he was convicted under Section 377 (unnatural offences), sentenced to undergo imprisonment for three years, and directed to pay Rs 50,000 compensation to the victim.
Upholding the decision, Principal District and Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma said the testimony of the minor victim was of a 'sterling quality' and that there is nothing to suggest that the child witness was tutored or had an ulterior motive to falsely implicate the man.
The judge noted that it is a case where the convict "sodomised the minor boy and subjected him to extreme physical and mental pain".
"I find no merit in the appeal and same is accordingly dismissed and the conviction under Section 377 IPC is upheld," the judge stated in an order dated September 8.
The court then passed the order on his sentence on September 23.
The judge, however, lowered the jail term noting, "Keeping in mind that the appellant was about 19 years of age at the time of the incident, and he is an illiterate person, the sentence of rigorous imprisonment for three years is reduced to a period of 18 months.
" The convict, who is now a daily wager, has already served a jail term of eight months and 13 days, as per the judicial records.
He was sent to judicial custody in June 2008 and was released on bail in February 2009.
The sessions judge further said that he is not inclined to grant him the benefit of Section 4(1) of the Probation of Offenders Act.
This section provides for the release of certain offenders on probation.
According to the prosecution, the incident occurred on the evening of March 16, 2008, when Dharmender sexually assaulted the minor in a house in a village in West Delhi.
The eight-year-old victim was playing with water balloons, the convict took him away, gagged his mouth, and sexually assaulted him, as a result of which he experienced pain, according to his testimony.
The elder brother of the victim also corroborated his version.
He stated that his brother went to Dharmender's house to fill water in the balloons but after some time, he heard his cries, following which he disclosed that the convict did "some wrong thing with him".
Dharmender ran away from the spot, evaded arrest, and finally surrendered before the metropolitan magistrate, following which he was arrested on June 7, 2008.