65-yr-old gets 7 yrs jail for trying to rape minor in New Delhi

New Delhi: A 65-year-old man was sentenced to seven years in jail for trying to rape a minor girl by a Delhi court, which observed that the crime has affected the mind and soul of the victim for which no amount of compensation was sufficient.

"The crime of the convict has gone deep into the mind and soul of the victim for which no amount of imprisonment or compensation is sufficient," Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Sharma said while sentencing Nanhe Khan to jail. The court, however, considered the convict's old age and poor health while awarding the jail term less than the minimum prescribed under section 376 (rape) of IPC.

"The convict at present is 65 years of age and is not keeping good health. He also does not hail from a rich background. In my opinion, the age and the health of the convict is a sufficient ground to impose a sentence lesser than the minimum provided under Section 376 IPC," it said.

The court also directed the Delhi Legal Services Authority to pay compensation of Rs one lakh to the victim. While convicting the Delhi resident and landlord of the house where the victim lived on rent, the court rejected his contention that it was unlikely for a person of his age to commit such an offence and termed the argument 'hypothetical'.

"Age cannot be bar for commission of offence including the present one. It may be noted that during medical examination, the accused was found capable of performing sexual intercourse and hence this argument is not sufficient to disbelieve the testimony of the victim," the court said.

Ruling out the possibility of false implication by the victim's mother over non-payment of rent, the court said "no prudent mother would like to put her minor daughter to defame only to protect her tenancy." It also noted that the accused could not seek benefit of minor contradictions in victim's statement, saying they 'are not to be considered, that too when victim/witness is of a tender age, which are quite natural.'

According to prosecution, on March 29, 2012 the girl was sleeping in her house in the afternoon when the accused gagged her and tried to rape her. The police said the victim raised an alarm and managed to escape from his clutches as the landlord fled away.

A police complaint was lodged after she informed her mother, who was out for work when the incident occurred. During trial, the accused had denied the allegations contending that he was falsely implicated by the girl's mother as she did not want to pay the rent.

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