In a horrifying case, a 58-year-old man is slammed with 10 years of imprisonment after he confessed to masturbating on a 5-year-old boy and blamed it on the devil. The Mumbai court gave the verdict under the POSCO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) act. 

The facts of the case: 

Trigger warning: Sexual assault, abuse. 

This case goes as back as April 2018 when a 5-year-old boy was sexually assaulted by a chicken seller in Mumbai. The boy who was playing outside, came rushing home looking scared. When asked by his mother about the reason for his tense behavior, the child simply ran away to the upper floor of his house. 

The 5-year-old survivor of the assault then narrated the incident to his mother. The boy claimed the neighborhood’s “Murgiwala chacha” (chicken seller), gave him Rs. 2, and took him to his hut. Later, the abuser removed the child’s clothes and did the shameful deed. 

When the mother heard about the child’s claim, she confronted the abuser. The accused molester apologized and put the blame on “shaitani shakti, saying “the devil had possessed me. Please forgive me this time.” The mother of the assault survivor told her husband about the incident and the case was registered in Mumbai’s Wadala police station. 

The POSCO verdict 

After carefully hearing the arguments, the Judge of the case MA Baraliya gave a ruling saying, “Prosecution has thus proved beyond a reasonable doubt that accused has committed the offence punishable under Sections 6 and 10 of the POSCO Act.” 

The accused’s lawyer defended him by giving testimony as to how the accused is responsible for taking care of his family and thus urging the judge to give a lenient judgment. The defendant’s lawyer in the hearing said: “his wife and five daughters stay at his native place and three of his daughters are married. He has the responsibility of his two daughters and wife and also the brother, who is blind and hence considering his family and financial background, a lenient approach may be taken.” 

The prosecution however looked for the maximum punishment the accused can be given. Under the POSCO Act, a person can be given a life imprisonment sentence if found guilty. However, since there was not an act of penetration in this case, the man was slammed with 10-year rigorous imprisonment. 

In another similar incident 

In a similar incident involving the POSCO Act, a 25-year-old man who was arrested for raping and impregnating a 16-year-old girl by Mumbai police was granted bail by the Court as he claimed that he was willing to marry the assault survivor. 

The court in the hearing found out later that the relationship between the man, who already has a wife, and the 16-year-old girl was ‘consensual’ and made a note that the man was ‘willing’ to marry the girl he raped after 2 years when she turns adult.  

The court in its verdict said, “As it is submitted that the minor intends to marry him and the accused is also willing to marry her once she turns 18 and that the matter is arising out of the affair and it is the case of a consensual relationship, to me, there is no need to keep the accused behind bars.” 

It should be noted that the mother of the 16-year-old girl, who had initially registered the FIR, later submitted an affidavit in the court. In her affidavit, the mother supported the man’s release and told the court that she wanted the accused to marry the minor who had given birth to their child. 

However, the Mumbai Police alleged that the accused had entrapped the girl who was young enough to be not able to understand the consequences and now the accused wanted to take advantage of the situation by giving an offer to marry her.