The court, which convicted the man of trespassing the victim's house when her parents were away and assaulting her for sexual pleasure, said that his statement under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) could be considered for not just judging his innocence, but also his guilt. "Even for the sake of argument, if we do not consider the testimony of her father and mother, the deposition of the child victim is sufficient to bring home the guilty of the man."
"In the present case, the man has sexually assaulted a child of tender age which is one of the most heinous crimes and an appalling violation of her trust and innocence," Metropolitan Magistrate Chetna Singh said in her verdict.
The court, while relying on the child's testimony, noted that she was not tutored to say anything and it was clear that the man, her neighbour - a south-east Delhi resident - had misbehaved with her by touching her private parts.
"In her cross examination also, despite being of tender age, she withstood her ground and even without any corroboration she is a trustworthy and reliable witness and did not seem to be under any tutoring as she was consistent," it said.
The court considered the man's statement recorded under section 313 of the CrPC claiming he was falsely implicated, but admitting that he was present at the incident spot and was beaten up by the victim's father.
"The weight to be attached to the statement of the man though cannot be placed in a straight jacket since it has to vary according to the circumstances of each case...Yet the legal position seems to be clear that such statements can be taken into consideration in judging not only the innocence, but the guilt and admission made under the code can be made the basis of conviction," it said.
According to the prosecution, the girl was alone in her house on October 10, 2012 when the man trespassed and sexually assaulted her by touching her private parts.
When her parents returned from work, he fled and she narrated to her mother the incident after which he was apprehended by her father, beaten up and handed over to the police, it said.
During the trial, the man had denied the allegations, but could not prove his innocence.