Observing that a child’s parents out of faith and trust gave her in the hands of the accused, who was the driver of a private school van and being the custodian of the child, he committed sexual assault on the 11-year-old, a special court on Wednesday sentenced a 35-year-old man to five-years imprisonment.
It is a teacher of the child in whom she had confided, who informed the child’s mother about the incident. Deposing before the court when she was in Class 5, prosecutor Geeta Malankar said, the child told the court that one of the children in the van had vomited and she was hence trying to find a different seat, when the driver called her to sit beside him. She said he gave her very little space to sit and then the lights of the van went off and he sexually assaulted her by putting his hand into her undergarment. She said she tried to stop him, but he would not stop.
Special judge HC Shende said in her judgment that crimes involving sexual assaults against women have to be severely dealt with. The court said they are not crimes against any particular woman, but against the society at large. “We need to hear the loud cry of society which is looking towards the court with hope, expecting that the courts will deal with such crimes strictly and impartially,” Judge Shende stated in her order.
The man had claimed leniency and told the court that he has two children and an ailing father. The court said that the accused is the driver of the van in which the child is going and without thinking anything he has committed the grave offence on the victim who was his custodian, hence it would be improper to give lesser punishment to him.