Mumbai Crime: Stepfather who raped, impregnated minor daughter denied mercy by court

Nov 13, 2017, 11:44 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

The man had raped his stepdaughter repeatedly over three months, until she got pregnant; high court said the convict did not deserve any mercy and refused to mitigate his life sentence

The man had raped his stepdaughter repeatedly over three months, until she got pregnant; high court said the convict did not deserve any mercy and refused to mitigate his life sentence

Four years after a man repeatedly raped his 15-year-old stepdaughter and impregnated her, he found no sympathy from the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court, where he had filed an appeal against his life sentence. Rejecting the monster stepfather's appeal, the court noted that there should be no leniency for someone who is in a protector's position but becomes a perpetrator of abuse instead.

Representation pic/Thinkstock
Representation pic/Thinkstock

The case
The 45-year-old man had been the child's guardian since her mother's death when she was 11. She was 15 when he began to prey on her in November 2013, and he kept doing it till February 2014, when she was discovered to be pregnant. She was in Std VII at the time.

The abuse began after she confided to her stepfather that she had started menstruating. Instead of helping her, he scolded her and suggested that the bloodstains on her clothes were a result of her having sex with someone. After a couple of days, he threatened and undressed her, and then raped her. He raped her repeatedly over the next three months.

In February 2014, the survivor felt unwell and told her neighbour about it. They went to a doctor who confirmed that the girl was pregnant. After being questioned, she revealed that her stepfather had been raping her. With the help of the neighbour, a complaint was registered with the Wardha police under the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). The police sent the victim to a remand home, where she delivered the child. DNA examination of the survivor, the newborn and the stepfather further confirmed that the accused was indeed the father of the child. Thereafter, a Sessions court pronounced the man guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

No lenience
Last Monday, the rapist's fate was sealed even further, after the HC rejected his appeal against the life term. Justices R K Deshpande and M G Giratkar stated, "The case in hand is of a serious nature. When a protector becomes perpetrator and the victim - who is a minor girl solely dependent upon him – is ravished by such a person, the victim is left with no other option but to surrender mutely."

"The mental agony and pain the victim would have gone through each time the appellant abused her physically – finding herself alone and helpless, without being in a position to disclose the same to anyone - does not entitle the appellant for any leniency. Leniency shown in such cases by the courts would not only defeat the very purpose of the POCSO Act, but would encourage a criminal mind to commit such offences further," the court observed.

Advocate Mikhail Dey, who has been following the case since its beginning, said, "It is unfortunate that the man who otherwise should have played the role of mother and father for the girl, has instead ruined her life by not only sexually exploiting her, but also making her a mother at a tender age."

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Three
Number of months he preyed on his stepdaughter

15 yrs
Age of the girl when she was raped and impregnated

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