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Delhi court awards 3-year sentence to convict in minor sexual assault case after nine years

New Delhi: A Delhi court, after nine years, awarded a three-year jail sentence to a man convicted of sexually assaulting a minor girl in 2015. The court has granted bail to the convict to challenge the judgment before the high court.

Special judge (POCSO) Babita Punia awarded a three-year jail sentence to the 28-year-old man.

The court noted that the convict is a first-time offender whose conduct in jail was also good. He was 19 years old at the time of the incident.

"Society demands that offenders be punished for their crimes. However, a court must strike a balance and must not over-emphasise one factor," the court said in the order of April 8.

The court has granted Rs 3 lakh compensation to the victim, who was 16 years of age at the time of the incident.

After considering the unsound economic condition of convict, the court has directed the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) to take necessary action.

The court noted that the victim was about 16 years old at the time of the commission of the offence. She must have suffered and may still be suffering mental pain/agony due to the conduct of the convict.

The court said, "Though the suffering of the victim cannot be compensated in monetary terms, it would facilitate her equipping herself with desirable skills or education, which would in turn help her achieve some level of independence."

The counsel for the convict prayed for lenience in awarding the sentence and argued that he is a young man aged about 28 years; his parents have expired; has one unmarried brother who lives in his native village, he too is unmarried.

He submitted that the convict was working as a salesman in a mobile shop and was earning Rs 12,000 per month.

On the other hand, additional public prosecutor (APP) Dr Sharawan Kumar Bishnoi argued that the convict does not deserve leniency and sought maximum punishment for the offence he was convicted of. 

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