Haryana: Teenager sentenced to death for raping, murdering eight-year-old
After a trial lasting six months, a Haryana court has awarded a death sentence to a 19-year-old boy for the rape and murder of an eight-year-old earlier. The rape and murder took place in June this year, and additional sessions judge Naresh Kumar, who heard the case, deemed it equivalent to the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case and thereby awarded a similar punishment. Here's more.
"This case cannot be considered as lesser to Nirbhaya because the victim who was innocent, having a bright future, was murdered for the purpose of sexual act and in the day light within the vicinity of the village," observed the court while giving its verdict.
The ghastly incident took place on June 9 in the Bawal township of the Rewari district in Haryana, when the parents of the victim had taken her younger brother to the hospital. The accused had been living in a rented room at the victim's house and, on being home alone with the child, lured her to his room and raped her.
During the trial, it was found that the teenager had shown the child pornography, before forcing himself on her. When the girl resisted and started crying, he gagged her, tied her up, and continued the heinous act. Then, fearing that the girl would inform her family, the teenager strangled her to death, and hid her body in an almirah in his room.
The accused, who worked in the same factory as the victim's father, had also tried to mislead the family and the police. He initially tried to distract the victim's family when they returned by telling them that the girl had gone to her friend's house. However, the accused couldn't keep up the act when police questioned him and found him giving contradictory answers.
Subsequently, the teenager's room was searched, and the gagged, tied-up body of the eight-year-old was discovered. The teen was then booked under Sections 372 (selling minor for purposes of prostitution), 376 (rape), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of the IPC, and Section 6 of the POCSO Act. He was convicted in all of them.
"The court has to consider it as one of the rarest of rare cases and lesser punishment than death penalty cannot be given. Further, the pain and suffering of that particular innocent child is very material. The court cannot ignore it," said the judge.
Earlier this year, in August, the Parliament had passed legislation prescribing stringent punishment, including the death penalty, for people convicted of raping a girl below 12 years of age. The law prescribed a minimum prison sentence of 20 years for those convicted of raping girls below 12, adding that their punishment could go up to life in prison or death.