New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday upheld a five-year jail sentence awarded to a man for sexually assaulting a seven-year-old boy at his home, stating that the minor victim’s statement was of “sterling quality”.
The man’s appeal against his conviction and sentencing in the case for offences of aggravated sexual assault, sexual harassment of a child under the Protection of Children from Sexual charges (POCSO) Act, house trespassing, and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code was dismissed by the high court.
The appellant had claimed that because of past animosity between him and the victim’s mother, he was falsely implicated of being involved in the case.
Justice Jasmeet Singh said it is not expected that a child of a tender age would behave like an adult by raising the alarm promptly and that in this case, the victim, with his vocabulary and comprehension, was able to describe the incident and give a clear picture in describable words.
His (child’s) testimony inspired confidence, the court said.
“The court cannot lose sight of the fact that the alleged offence was committed with a child of tender age who got frightened by the threats extended to him by the accused, as well as by the alleged act of the accused, and it is not expected that a child of such a tender age would behave like an adult by raising the alarm promptly,” the court noted.
“The statement of the child victim is of sterling quality. The combined evidence of the prosecution lays down the foundational facts which disclose the commission of offence and this court finds no reason to disbelieve or discredit the statement of the victim. Hence, the testimony inspires confidence,” Justice Singh added.
The trial court’s judgement was also well-reasoned, which had relied on previous rulings to hold that the victim’s testimony alone is sufficient to establish the guilty status of the accused, and that minor contradictions or discrepancies in the statement of the minor victim should not be used as a justification for tossing out an otherwise solid prosecution case, the court observed.
According to the prosecution, the accused man along with his friend had entered the child’s house after threatening him to open the door, before sexually assaulting the minor boy.
The man had also threatened the child not to disclose the incident to anyone. Later, the child informed his mother about the incident after which a case was lodged by the police.