19-yr-old convicted for rape of 11-yr-old mentally, physically challenged girl, gets 13 years of RI

AALO, 16 Sep: Nineteen-year-old Dosen Kamki has been convicted of rape of an 11-year-old mentally and physically challenged girl by the District & Sessions Judge here in West Siang district and has been sentenced to 13 years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) under the POCSO Act.

In mid-April 2019, the survivor was repeatedly molested and raped by Kamki, a minor himself then, at Peri village in West Siang district and an FIR was filed at the Kamba police station by the Ninu Welfare Society.

After hearing the case, the court of Sessions Judge cum Special Judge POCSO Act, Gote Mega on 9 September ordered: “I have carefully and cautiously considered all the aspects and mitigating factors of the case. I am convinced that justice will be done by sending him to serve 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs 1000 for the offence punishable under Section 6 of POCSO Act, read with 376(2) (a) (i), IPC.”

He has also been sentenced to jail term of three years rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs 1000 under Section 8 of POCSO Act.

In default of payment of the fines imposed, the convict shall further undergo three months simple imprisonment for both sentences. Both the sentences shall run concurrently.

As the convict had committed the offence when he was a minor (17 and half years), the court ordered that, in terms of Section 19 (3) of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, Kamki shall be kept in the Children’s Observation Home at Pasighat in East Siang district until he attains 21 years of age on 26 January, 2023, and thereafter, he shall be shifted to Aalo Sub Jail to serve the remaining jail term until 13 July, 2031.

The one month and 27 days in judicial custody and police lockup of Kamki during police investigation is hereby set off as per the rule.

The court also took note that the convict is from a financially weak family and imposing a huge fine upon him would not have served the intent and purpose of the statute.

The statutory rights of the convict enshrined under Section 21 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, prohibits awarding sentence of death and life imprisonment.

During the court hearing, even as the counsel for the convict urged upon for awarding minimum sentence described in the statute on preponderance of probability that the convict will emerge as a reformed man and would be valuable to his family and the society, the public prosecutor contended that having regard to the nature of crime and young age of the victim, “the convict deserves to be sufficiently punished if not the retribution. It is contended that adopting leniency theory will amount to absolving of his half punishment which is not the intent of law,”

At the same time, the sessions judge made a recommendation to the secretary of the District Legal Services Authority of West Siang to fast track the victim’s application, so that compensation amount of Rs 5, 00, 000, in accordance to the Arunachal Pradesh Victim Compensation Rules, 2011 is disbursed to the survivor without delay.

The convict can file an appeal against the judgment and sentence order of the court to the Gauhati High Court, Itanagar Permanent Bench within 30 days as per Article 115 of the Limitation Act, 1963.