The Fast Track Special Court of Chandigarh Friday sentenced a 58-year-old woman, the warden of a hostel, to 12 years imprisonment in connection with the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl in 2018.
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Swati Sehgal convicted the accused under Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 30,000 on the accused.
As per the prosecution, the case was registered on the complaint of the father of victim, who alleged that his daughter, 10 years and 6 months, was studying and lodging in a hostel in Chandigarh.
On August 8, 2018, he received a call from his daughter, who told him that the hostel warden took her to a room and made her
On the next day, he went to meet his daughter at the hostel, where she told him that the hostel warden harassed her sexually. She narrated the entire incident and told him that the accused woman took her to a room, switched off the lights and touched her inappropriately.
The victim also said she was afraid of the accused.
The accused was then arrested after a police complaint, the statement of the victim recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC and her medical examination was conducted.
During the trial, the defense counsel argued that the woman has been falsely implicated in the case. The court, however, after hearing the arguments and statement of victim, held the accused woman guilty.
At the time of pronouncement of sentence, the woman accused pleaded for leniency on account that she does not have any past criminal record nor has she been convicted previously. She argued that she is married and needs to take care of a bed-ridden mother-in-law.
She added that her family including her husband and son, who is studying, are entirely dependent on her. The accused said she is suffers from various physical ailments due to her age.
Pronouncing the sentence, Judge Sehgal said, “The present matter is the apt example of the downfall of values of our enriched and traditional society, wherein accused being warden of a hostel is held guilty for committing penetrative sexual assault upon minor victim girl of below 12 years. She has not only committed the heinous offence but also breached the trust reposed on her by parents. Such abhorrent act does not augur well with our ethos”.