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Juvenile rapist sentenced to 20 years in jail

Mathura (PTI): A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping a six-year-old girl four years ago when he was a juvenile, aged little over 16 years.

Additional Sessions Judge Amar Singh, heading a special court set up under the POCSO Act, sentenced Shailender alias Shailu on Friday after putting him on trial as an adult under the ruling of a Juvenile Justice Board to try him as an adult accused.

Accordingly, ASJ Singh tried the accused as an adult and convicted him of committing the rape and unnatural offence (under sections 376 and 377 of the Indian Penal Code) besides committing a penetrative sexual assault on the child under sections 3 and 4 of the POCSO Act.

The judge sentenced the convict to 20 years in jail as the conviction under sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences entails as long a sentence.

An offence committed by a juvenile offender generally does not entail a term longer than three years in an observation home but the court sentenced him to 20 years jail term after trying him as an adult accused as per the Juvenile Justice Board's recommendations.

The Mathura Juvenile Justice Board had recommended the trial of the 16-year-old boy as an adult under the latest amendments in the Juvenile Justice Act sections 15 (1) and 18 (3) -- which empowers the Board to order the trial of juvenile offenders, committing heinous offences of rape and murder, as an adult.

In case of a heinous offence allegedly committed by a juvenile above the age of sixteen years, section 15 (1) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 empowers the Juvenile Justice Board to make a preliminary assessment of the offender's mental and physical ability.

Section 18 (3) of the Act further empowers the Board to order the trial of such a juvenile offender, committing such heinous offences of rape and murder, while being aware of the consequences of his acts as an adult.

While sentencing the convict to 20 years in jail, ASJ Amar Singh also imposed a total fine of Rs 1.25 lakh on him Rs 50,000 each for committing respective offences of rape under IPC and penetrative sexual assault on a child under the age of 16 under the POCSO Act besides Rs 25,000 for committing the unnatural offence under section 377 of the IPC.

The judge also ordered the state government to pay a total compensation of Rs 1.25 lakh to the child in case the convicts fails to pay the fine.

Prosecution counsel Subhash Chandra Chaturvedi said the case against accused Shailu was lodged on March 3, 2017, on the complaint of the child's mother who had alleged that her daughter was allured by Shailu to the top floor of an under-construction building in the neighbourhood and was raped by him.

She rushed to the crime spot on hearing the cries of her daughter and found that the accused had forced himself on her daughter, she said in her complaint to the police.

The juvenile was then detained by the police which during the investigation and medical examination of the child found that the accused had also committed the unnatural offence with the child.

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