Written by Shaurya Mahajan
On Monday, a special court in Mumbai in the case of The State of Maharashtra vs Sachin Suresh Wadekar convicted and sentenced a 37-year-old man to 25 years in jail for offences under the POCSO act. This was given as he was proved guilty of raping his adolescent daughter multiple times.
The state was represented by Special public prosecutor SS Joshi while the accused was represented by Advocate Vasant Prabhu.
The special judge justice Bharti Kale held the opinion that the accused did not deserve leniency for such a heinous crime.
The prosecution claimed that the girl resided with her grandparents, uncle, father and two younger siblings, while her mother was said to have abandoned them around 7 years ago.
The said incident came to light in May 2021, when the child was questioned by her grandmother about her missed menstrual cycle and the girl revealed that her father had been subjecting her to forceful sexual abuse since the previous year.
The girl claimed that the accused used to rape her when he returned home under the influence of alcohol and allegedly sexually assaulted her at least 5 times.
The accused pleaded non-guilty to the accusation and his counsel argued that their house was too small to perform such a crime without being detected by others and further claimed that the bogus complaint was filed because he prohibited her from conversing with her male friends. It was further contended that the failure on the girl’s part to raise an alarm that the said act never took place.
The judge stated that the child’s refusal to raise an alarm did not cast a doubt on the evidence of her being sexually assaulted and further stated that the mere fact of the size of the house cannot mean that such activities were not feasible. The court further added that the survivor’s silence in most cases is due to fear. The court also mentioned that the girl was more vulnerable given her mother’s absence.
The court cited provisions of the POCSO act and said there are rules for raising awareness and placing the child in a shelter home if required.
The man was sentenced to 25 years of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of INR 20000 to be paid to the survivor.