Brief Facts of the Case
The accused (appellant) was tried by the Fast Track Mahila Court, Dharmapuri. He was charged for the offences punishable u/s 7 r/w Section 8 of the POCSO Act, 2012. The victim girl was the 5th standard student of 13 years. The Trial court convicted him u/s 7 of the POCSO Act & sentenced him for 3 years rigorous imprisonment also imposed the fine of rupees 1 lakh, by way of compensation to the victim, as per Rule 7(2) of the said Act. The accused challenged the judgment of the trial court & appealed to the HC to set aside the order of compensation of rupees 1 lakh. HC allowed the appeal & directed that the state shall pay the said amount to the victim girl on the accused’s behalf. And later the amount shall be recovered from him. The accused was dissatisfied with the HC order and appealed before the SC.
Arguments on Behalf of the Appellant
The counsel appeared on the behalf of the accused and submitted that not enough chance was given to the accused before passing the impugned order and judgment. It was also contended that one of the witnesses i.e the mother of the victim became hostile and therefore the trial court has committed a mistake in convicting the accused. It was further submitted that as the trial court accepted the fact that there were lapses on the prosecution’s part, therefore the benefit of such doubt should be given to the accused.
Arguments one Behalf of the State
The counsel appeared on the behalf of the state that the appeal was disposed of after four days from the date of legal assistance provided to him. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that no enough chance was given to him to defend his case, before passing the aforesaid order.
It was also submitted that the trial court has not committed any mistake in pronouncing in its judgment and order against the accused by relying upon the disposition of the victim whose evidence was reliable. It was also submitted that she was properly cross-examined by the defence.
Observation of the Court
The Supreme Court observed that according to the facts and & circumstances of the case, the trial court has not committed any mistake in convicting the accused, by relying upon the victim’s deposition. The trial Court was already lenient as it has imposed the minimum sentence provided under Section 8 of the POCSO Act.
The Decision of the Court
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal by stating that after considering the object & purpose of the said Act & the evidence on record, the HC has correctly convicted the accused of the offence punishable u/s 7 of the Act and has correctly sentenced him for 3 years rigorous imprisonment which is the minimum sentence provided u/s 8 of the Act.
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