Hyderabad: The conviction rate of in Pocso cases saw an increase after the special court dealing with child abuse case came into existence in April. This is the fourth court in the country to deal with cases of child abuse.
In these two months alone, the special court has pronounced judgements on eight cases, and sent three persons to life imprisonment.
On June 22, the court sentenced Mohammed Khaja to life imprisonment after finding him guilty of sexually abusing his own daughter.
The court heard that the couple was separated and the daughter used to live with her mother. The accused used to give her some kind of opiate and rape her. One day, Khaja barged into their house, physically abused his wife and took their daughter inside a room, latched it from inside and forced himself on her.
The mother screamed for help, neighbours came in and rescued the girl and complained to the Kalapathar police.
In another case, a house owner sexually exploited a 13-year-old girl for six months, striking when her mother, a school attendant, left for work.
The accused, Asirwatham, 52, took pictures of the girl while she was taking a bath and blackmailed her saying he would upload it on the internet.
The accused used to send her brother to a kirana store asking him to bring chocolates and in the meantime, sexually exploit her.
One day the victim’s mother took her to school with her. The house owner scolded the woman for taking the girl with her. Finding this suspicious, the mother questioned the girl. The child opened up about the sexual abuse she was facing. The mother complained to the police, which ultimately led to Asirwatham’s conviction
Speaking to this newspaper, additional metropolitan session judge Suneetha Kunchala said, “If any case comes to trial under Pocso, the minimum imprisonment is three years. We are taking all measures to ensure transparency for the undertrial. Some victims are not able to confront the accused in person. In such cases, we show images of the accused on a TV monitor.”
If a boy stalks a girl or holds the hand of a minor girl against her consent, he can be booked under Pocso. Even if a girl feels the boy is following her, she can lodge a complaint against him. Unlike a person booked under IPC, under Pocso the accused has to prove that he did not do anything wrong.