Hyderabad: A court has sentenced a 39-year-old Hyderabad man to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 for sexually exploiting a minor girl multiple times.
The girl who is a step-daughter of the man is just 15 years old. The accused threatened and raped her for five to six months before she finally confided in her mother, leading to a complaint being filed in February 2021.
Charged under both POCSO, IPC
Based on the complaint, police arrested the accused and sent the victim for counseling at the Bharosa Centre. Later, the chargesheet was filed. The accused was convicted under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as of the POCSO Act.
On Thursday, the XII Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge in Nampally sentenced the man to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1,000.
It is said that following the exploitation, the girl slipped into trauma and suffering.
POCSO Act 2022
The case once again highlighted the importance of the POCSO Act in protecting children from sexual offenses and ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions. The act protects children aged below 18 years from various sexual offenses.
Under the act, any person aged below 18 years irrespective of gender is a child. The act broadly classified sexual offenses against the child into five.
- Penetrative sexual assault
- Aggregative penetrative sexual assault
- Sexual assault
- Aggregative sexual assault
- Sexual harassment
The minimum punishment for penetrative sexual assault under POCSO Act is 10 years in jail if the offense is committed against a girl aged between 16-18 years.
In the case of aggregative penetrative sexual assault, the minimum punishment under the act is 20 years.
As per the act, the person who commits sexual assault on a child is punished with imprisonment of not less than three years whereas, the minimum punishment for the accused of aggregative sexual assault is five years.
In case of sexual harassment, the accused is sent to jail for a term that may extend to three years.