MADURAI: Observing that the object of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 is to ensure offenders are punished and society is child friendly, the Madurai Bench of Madras HC confirmed the life sentence imposed on a man for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl in Ramanathapuram
The prosecution said, the convict and the victim’s family were neighbours. In 2015, when the victim and her toddler brother were alone in their house, the convict took both of them to his house and sexually assaulted the girl.
Based on her parents’ complaint, a case was registered and the man was later sentenced to life imprisonment by a Mahila Court in 2019. Challenging this, he filed an appeal. A Bench of Justices PN Prakash and R Hemalatha observed,
“The law must operate in a manner the well-being of a child is regarded as paramount importance at every stage to ensure physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child.” The object of the POCSO Act is the person of culpable state of mind is punished for harassing the child and thereby keeping the society child friendly, it added.
Though the convict’s counsel cited delay in lodging police complaint, the judges opined, “We are convinced that in such sensitive issues involving a minor female child, decisions do take time.” Thee judges upheld the punishment imposed on him.