Delhi Police has filed a charge sheet in a city court against two youths for brutally raping a five-year-old girl two months ago, under stringent provisions of newly enacted law for protection of children which entails maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
The kidnapping and rape of the minor in east Delhi had sparked public outrage against the alleged apathy of police in registering the case, leading to the suspension and transfer of cops of various ranks including an ACP, caught on camera slapping a young girl who was part of a crowd protesting the incident.
The accused Manoj Shah, 22 and Pradeep Kumar, 20, who had fled after committing the crime, were arrested from Bihar.
The police, in its charge sheet filed before Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg, said the evidence collected so far showed that the accused had raped the minor after kidnapping her and had left her confined in a room for two days.
Manoj and Pradeep have been chargesheeted under various provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act relating to aggravated sexual assault and for offences including kidnapping, procuring a minor girl, wrongful confinement, attempt to murder and destruction of evidence under the IPC.
Being a special law dealing with cases where the victim of sexual offences is a child, the POCSO Act will prevail over the Indian Penal Code.
The police said in the charge sheet that the POCSO Act is a special Act where the accused is required to prove innocence whereas under the IPC, the accused is presumed innocent till the prosecution proved his guilt.
ASJ Garg, presiding over the special court under the POCSO Act, took cognizance of the charge sheet and fixed the matter for July 1 for hearing arguments on framing of charges against both the accused, who are presently in judicial custody.
The offences, for which the accused have been charge sheeted, if proved, entails a maximum punishment of life term.
They are accused of brutally raping the five-year-old girl on April 15 in a building in east Delhi's Gandhi Nagar locality where the victim and accused lived.
The girl was rescued 40 hours later on April 17 and is under treatment at AIIMS.
The police said in the charge sheet that Manoj and Pradeep had intentionally kidnapped the child when she was playing outside her house and after confining her in Manoj's rented room, they raped her.
It also said that both the accused, with the help of each other, inserted candles and an oil bottle in the private parts of the girl.
The charge sheet further said that the accused had tried to kill the girl by strangulating and slitting her throat. It said that the accused had fled the spot after leaving the child in the room thinking that she was dead.
To hide their identities and to escape from legal punishment, the accused had fled to their native places in Bihar, from where they were arrested later on, it said.
The accused had also tried to destroy and hide the evidence, the police said.
"The matter was thoroughly investigated for the offences in which the FIR was registered and which were added subsequently. The same set of facts attract two provisions of law i.e 376 D (sexual assault by a gang) and 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC on the one hand and section 6 of POSCO Act on the other hand.
"The POCSO Act is a special act where the accused is required to prove innocence. So keeping in view the facts that the special law will always prevail over general law, this charge sheet is being prepared only only for the offences under 363, 366A, 342, 307, 201 of the IPC and various sections of the POCSO Act," the police said in the charge sheet.