A man has been sent to seven years in jail for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl for two months by a city court, which also held his wife guilty of kidnapping the minor.
Additional Sessions Judge Gautam Manan awarded jail term to Uttar Pradesh resident Kamal saying he does not deserve any leniency in view of the nature of offence committed by him.
The court also sentenced his wife Sonu to two-year imprisonment which she has already undergone in jail during trial, after taking a lenient view considering she was the only person to take care of their three minor children.
It also directed that a compensation of Rs three lakh be paid to the victim and asked Delhi Legal Services Authority to ensure compliance of its order.
"Concept of welfare and well-being of children is basic for any civilised society and this has a direct bearing on the state of health and well-being of the entire community, its growth and development.
"It has been time and again emphasised in legislation, international declarations as well as the judicial pronouncements that children are a 'supremely important national asset' and the future well-being of the nation depends on how its children grow and develop," the court said.
According to the prosecution, a complaint was lodged by the girl's father in November 2012 that his daughter was missing and had not returned from school.
During investigation, it was found that their neighbours, Kamal and Sonu were also missing. The victim was rescued in January 2013 from them.
The girl deposed in the court that she knew the couple as they were neighbours who had shifted to some other place. She said the woman had come to her school to take her along. While her behaviour initially with her was cordial but later Kamal started sexually assaulting her, before she was rescued by the police.
During trial, the accused couple claimed that the girl had come to their house and stayed with them voluntarily. They alleged that the girl had told them that her mother was not treating her well but later made a false statement under pressure from her parents.
The court rejected their submission saying that the girl was of tender age which makes her consent to go with them immaterial and they cannot keep the child with them without the permission of her parents.--PTI