Pulling Down Legging & Touching Thighs Of A Child Is Sexual Assault Under POCSO ACT [Read Order]
The Delhi HC has held that pulling down the leggings of the child victim and touching of the thighs is evident of sexual intent and constitutes an offence of sexual assault in terms of Section 7 of POCSO Act.
Facts of the case:-
– The appellant has been convicted of an offence under Section 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and has been sentenced to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment for a period of 5 years and to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000.
– The victim girl, at the time of incident aged 9 years, made a complaint that when she and her brother (then aged 7 years) were present in the house and were watching TV, the appellant came and enquired about the presence of the mother in the house. When the child victim informed that the mother was away to her job, the appellant came inside the house and removed her leggings and stated feeling/rubbing his hand on her thighs. The victim somehow, escaped this incident. But again on the same day appellant tried to stop victim while she was going to tuition. Later, At night, when she came home, she informed her mother and thereafter the police was called.
– Based on the evidence led by the prosecution, trial court found the appellant guilty of the offence under Section 10 of the POCSO by the impugned judgment.
– In the appeal before the High Court, Learned counsel appearing for Appellant contended that the officer who had recorded rukka as well as the child counsellor who was alleged to be present when the police officer responded to the first call made was not recorded shows that prosecution story is not believable. He further contended that the entire complaint seems to be an offshoot of a loan transaction between the appellant and the mother of the victim and when appellant demanded his loan amount, the complaint was registered.
The Delhi High Court Judgment:-
The Delhi HC said that the appellant has not been able to show any reason as to why the testimony of the two children should be disbelieved. Also, the child victim has been consistent in her rukka statement, her statement recorded under Section 164 Cr. P.C. as well as in the testimony before the Trial Court.
The Judgment also stated that under Section 29 of POCSO Act raises a statutory presumption against the accused. Accused has not been able to dispel the presumption or discharge the onus. Also, the HC established from the testimony of the child victim and her brother that the appellant/accused had pulled down the leggings of the child and touched her thighs. Pulling down the leggings of the child victim and touching of the thighs is evident of sexual intent and accordingly constitutes an offence of sexual assault in terms of Section 7 of POCSO Act.
Also, it stated that in terms of Section 9 (m) of POCSO Act since sexual assault was committed on a child below the age of 12, it would amount to aggravated sexual assault punishable under Section 10 of POCSO Act.
Thus, the Court opined that nothing had been pointed by the Appellant to show that the conclusion arrived at by the Trial Court was erroneous or suffered from any material irregularity.
“I find that the trial court has passed a well-reasoned order after examining the evidence and the law. I find no infirmity in the view taken by the trial court in holding the appellant guilty under Section 10 of POCSO Act.” said Justice Sandeep Sachdeva.
Case: Rajender vs. State
Read the order: Click Here