Man in Maharashtra sentenced to life imprisonment for raping minor daughter

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In a significant development, a court in Maharashtra’s Thane district has handed down a rigorous life imprisonment sentence to a 48-year-old man convicted of raping his minor daughter. The court’s order, issued on April 11 and made public on Saturday, emphasized the need for a strong deterrent punishment in such cases, as incidents of this nature are on the rise.

District and Additional Sessions Judge PR Ashturkar, presiding over cases related to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, pronounced the sentence. The accused will serve rigorous imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life and has also been fined Rs 20,000.

The prosecution, represented by Special Public Prosecutor Kadambini Khandagale, informed the court that the accused had relocated to Mumbai with his daughter and son following the demise of his wife when the victim was two years old. The horrifying abuse began in 2011 when the victim was a mere 4 to 5 years old. The accused repeatedly assaulted his daughter and even threatened her with abandonment if she disclosed the crimes.

The young girl eventually mustered the courage to report the abuse to the police in November 2016, when she was 10 years old. The authorities promptly registered a case against the accused, leading to his arrest. During the trial, eight witnesses, including the victim, testified against the perpetrator.

The judge, in his order, acknowledged the profound trauma inflicted upon the victim, who had endured nearly five years of aggravated penetrative assault from the age of five. The court condemned the accused for exploiting the girl’s vulnerability and emphasized the need for a punishment that balances the severity of the offense with the victim’s circumstances.

The judge’s ruling underscored the imperative to tackle such heinous crimes with an iron hand and send a strong message to society. Moreover, the court recognized the victim’s right to compensation and directed that any recovered fine amount be awarded to her, in addition to any entitlements under government schemes such as the ‘Manodhairya Scheme’ or other Victim Compensation Schemes.

This verdict serves as a stark reminder that child sexual abuse is a grave offense, and the justice system will not hesitate to deliver severe punishments to protect the rights and safety of children.

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