A Delhi court on Saturday sentenced a 40-year old man to five years in jail for sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl, saying the sexual assault cripples a child and turn the victim into a "mental dwarf".
Additional Sessions Judge Seema Maini convicted Mukesh for the offence under section 10 (aggravated sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on the convict.
"Sexual assault upon a child, of whatever magnitude, often cripples the child to such an extent, that the child's growth gets stunted, leaving him/her, a mental dwarf. Such children lose their focus in life, lose faith and hope, and grow up, suspecting and doubting everything and everyone.
"They get deprived of their childhood, and become a recluse. The damage done by sexual assault on a seven-year-old child's psyche is irreparable and irreversible," it said.
According to the prosecution, the case dated back to 2013, when the child's mother had taken her elder daughter for some medical procedure in a hospital in Delhi.
She had taken her elder daughter inside the hospital while leaving her three other children in the waiting hall.
When she returned, the victim came crying to her saying that the accused, who used to distribute food in the hospital, had sexually assaulted her.
The victim's mother subsequently registered complaint with police, which registered a case and arrested Mukesh.
The accused denied the allegations and claimed trial.
The court, in its order, said, "Children are the pillars of every civilization, for which, the children need to be not just physically, mentally and educationally strong, but also morally and emotionally staunch."
It further said while a physical assault cripples a child only physically and this disability does not take away his/her focus in life, which often helps him become an achiever, a sexual assault leaves a child doubting everything and everyone.
The court also directed the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DLSA) to grant a compensation of Rs 30,000 to the victim.
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