Delhi Court sentences man to life imprisonment for repeatedly raping stepdaughter

07:45 PM May 23, 2024 | PTI |

A court here has sentenced a 33-year-old man to rigorous life imprisonment for repeatedly raping and impregnating his minor stepdaughter in 2019, saying in the ”morally repugnant” incest case, the convict’s illiteracy cannot be considered a mitigating factor.



It also observed that the convict deserved a ”severe sentence” because of the nature of the crime and society’s interest in protecting vulnerable children from horrendous experiences.


Additional Sessions Judge Babita Puniya was hearing the case against the stepfather who was convicted of the penal provision of rape and aggravated penetrative sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act last month.



Special Public Prosecutor Sharawan Kumar Bishnoi sought the ”strictest sentence”, saying that ”a clear and strong message should be sent to the society that such horrendous acts will not be countenanced”. In an order passed on May 17, the judge rejected the argument of the defence counsel about the convict being illiterate and said, ”I am of the view that illiteracy cannot be considered as a mitigating factor, particularly in incest cases. It is not only legally punishable but is morally repugnant also.” She said the ”diabolical nature” of the crime and the fact that the victim was the stepdaughter of the convict and was in his care and protection outweighed the personal circumstances of the convict, including his age.


”The interest of justice demands that the severest punishment must be imposed. The convict has failed dismally to show the existence of substantial and compelling reasons for taking a lenient view,” the court said.


It underlined the various aggravating factors in the case, including the victim being an innocent and helpless child who became pregnant and had to undergo an abortion at around 16 years of age.


”The convict has preyed upon an innocent and vulnerable girl child to quench his covetousness and selfish needs. He repeatedly made the victim object of his lust and made her pregnant. I have no doubt in my mind that this must have been an excruciating pain that the victim or child endured,” the judge said.


”The fact that the offence was committed by a stepfather, who was in a position of trust, against his innocent, defenceless old girl child is aggravating the offence,” she added.


Sentencing the convict to rigorous imprisonment for life, the court clarified that it meant ”imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life”. It observed, ”The nature of the crime and society’s interest in protecting vulnerable children from horrendous experiences warrants a severe sentence.”


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