K’taka HC upholds 10-year jail term for ‘rapist’ father

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K’taka HC upholds 10-year jail term for ‘rapist’ father

Bengaluru:  Karnataka High Court has upheld a 2016 judgement of a lower court that handed down 10 years imprisonment to a man for sexually assaulting his then 13-year-old daughter.

The court has also dismissed the accused father’s appeal.

A bench headed by Justice K.S. Mudagal, in a recent judgment, did not consider the argument of the accused father that the FIR filed by his daughter’s aunt had many shortcomings and contradictions.

It observed that the delay in filing of FIR does not rule out the offence, adding that the victim’s mother was totally bedridden and grandmother died soon after.

The family comes from a poor background and the father himself was the abuser. Considering all these factors, the bench gave the verdict. The incident took place on September 27, 2014, in the limits of the HAL police station. An FIR in this regard was lodged by the victim’s aunt on September 29, 2014.

A charge sheet against the accused was submitted and a trial court convicted the accused under IPC sections 376, POCSO Act and awarded him 10 years of imprisonment on September 16, 2022.

The accused had challenged the verdict claiming that there is a delay of two days in filing the complaint which is inordinate.

He also claimed that the victim’s statements and witness statements issued before the magistrate and investigation officer were contradictory.

The accused also claimed that the mother and grandmother, who were there at the house, were not questioned by the investigating officer regarding the incident. He also contended that the FIR lacked specifics of the case.

Appearing for the victim, the counsel said that the girl had spoken about her father. The victim’s aunt and maternal uncle have also corroborated her evidence and statements. The medical proof is also against the accused. The victim’s mother died on the ninth day after filing the complaint. In such cases, delay won’t demolish the case.

The bench observed that the absence of details of the acts of the accused does not falsify the case.

It also observed that the mother was in a vegetative state and the victim lost her grandmother soon after. The father is the main accused in the case. Hence, the argument of delay in filing of FIR is unacceptable.

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