A court in Bhongir awarded 20-years rigorous imprisonment to a man who raped and impregnated a minor girl in Thurkapally in 2017. The court also imposed a fine of Rs.2,000 on the convict, M. Srikanth (23) from Thurkapally.
The incident occurred in July 2017, when Srikanth promised to marry the 17-year-old girl and then raped and impregnated her.
Later, based on a complaint received from the girl, police booked a case and arrested the accused.
After a long legal battle, the local court in Bhongir finally convicted Srikanth and handed down the 20-year sentence along with the fine.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act was enacted in 2012 to protect the 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.