A case came before the Bombay High court of a minor girl who was sexually exploited by her father. The victim was a 15-year old girl who lived with her father (the accused) at Anandnagar slum, Vasai. Her mother left her by marrying another man. The girl was exploited by her father since 2014. He tortured her in various ways and threatened her by saying that she will be killed if she disclosed the incident to anyone.
The victim however gained courage and informed the incident to one Sunita Bablu Chavan, who took her to the police station and lodged a complaint. Investigations were carried on and the accused was charged under Section 323 of Indian Penal Code(IPC) for voluntarily causing hurt, Section 506 of IPC for criminal intimidation, Section 376(2)(i)(n) of IPC for repeatedly committing rape on the same girl, Section 4 of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) for penetrative sexual assault, Section 8 of POCSO for sexual assault.
The court completely relied on the victim’s medical evidence and testimony. An advocate representing the accused complained that the accused cannot be charged simply by relying on the testimony. Also, there was delay in launching the FIR. The court is therefore committing an error in giving judgement. On the other hand, APP MH Mhatre argued that no error was committed and also the victim has reasonable reason for the delay in FIR which means the delay can be no ground for setting aside the complaint. The High Court thus convicted the accused and on the basis of charges sentenced him to life imprisonment. The court asked the State Legal Services Authority to award compensation to the victim under the Victim Compensation Scheme framed by the State Government. It also held that the person who was to be her prime protector preyed on her as sexual predator. [READ JUDGMENT]