Bhopal- In Madhya Pradesh, the POCSO court has sentenced culprits to jail in cases involving the rape of minor girls. In both instances, the DNA test report served as the basis for the punishment. In the first case, the Bina court sentenced an accused to ten years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine. In the second case, the Bhopal court handed down a 20-year imprisonment sentence to the accused.
According to Special Public Prosecutor Shyamsunder Gupta, a report was filed at Bhangarh police station in October 2019. The complainant stated that her sisters had gone to a farmer's house to harvest crops, and one sister did not return after going to collect shop goods on the morning of October 18. A search in places like Umaria, Shahdol, and Lalitpur revealed that a person from Lalitpur, residing in the village where the sister went missing, had lured and raped the minor on October 18, 2019. Following the report, Bhangarh police registered a case, conducted a medical examination and DNA test, and presented the case in court.
The court proceedings spanned about five years, during which the parents of the minor did not argue the case. The Special Public Prosecutor presented evidence regarding the minor's date of birth, confirming the accused's guilt under the POCSO Act after the positive DNA report. The Court of Special Judge POCSO Act Nirmal Mandoria sentenced him to ten years of rigorous imprisonment and a two-year imprisonment term. Additionally, the accused was fined one thousand rupees, and the court ordered Rs 1 lakh compensation for the victim.
In the second case, a court delivered its verdict in a 4-year old Bhopal case involving the rape ofa minor. The accused received a 20-year rigorous imprisonment sentence and a Rs 10,000 fine. This case involved the accused befriending a minor girl and subsequently raping her.
Manoj Tripathi, the Divisional Public Relations Officer of Bhopal Court, explained that the complainant and her mother filed a complaint on September 01, 2019, at Chhola Mandir police station, Bhopal. The accused, Vicky alias Vikas Chauhan, had raped her. The victim revealed that the accused lived near her aunt's house, and after becoming friends, he forcibly raped her in a hotel room after pressuring her for physical relations. Despite witnesses turning hostile during the court hearing, the accused was found guilty based on the DNA report and other evidence. Consequently, the court sentenced Vicky alias Vikas Chauhan to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and a Rs 10,000 fine under Section 376 (3) of the Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act 3/4.
Advocate Mayank Singh, speaking to The Mooknayak, emphasized the seriousness with which POCSO cases are handled in court. Even if witnesses or victims turn hostile, a positive DNA report serves as conclusive evidence. MLC reports from doctors and DNA tests form the primary basis for punishment, contributing to the relatively swift resolution of POCSO cases.
According to the recently released National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for the year 2022, Madhya Pradesh ranks third in sexual crimes against children. A considerable number of cases involving sexual harassment under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act and POCSO Act have been reported in Madhya Pradesh, placing the state third in the country. Last year, a total of 5951 cases were registered under POCSO-related sections in the state, including 3,653 cases of rape, 2,233 cases of sexual assault, and 42 cases of harassment.