A special court for cases under the POCSO Act in Chennai has sentenced a 39-year-old Shaffi who had sexually assaulted his 13-year-old stepdaughter to 7 years imprisonment.
Shaffi, a resident of Old Washermenpet, married a woman who was separated from her husband. She had a daughter through her first marriage. Shaffi sexually assaulted the minor girl in 2019. The victim narrated her horrific story to her grandparents. Based on the complaint by the victim’s grandmother, the all-women police station arrested Shaffi.
Special Judge M Rajalakshmi, in her judgment, has sentenced Shaffi to undergo seven years jail term and a fine of Rs.25,000. The court also directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay Rs.5 lakh as compensation to the victim girl. “The court is taking into consideration the type of abuse, gravity of the offence and the severity of the mental or physical harm or injury suffered by the victim child…. And the fact that even her biological mother or grandmother are not in a position to support the girl. This court deemed it fit to award 5 lakh as compensation to the victim girl”, the court order said.
Rejecting the contention of the accused that he is entitled to lesser punishment as he is the only breadwinner of the entire family, the court said “if such claim is entertained , it would defeat the very purpose of the enactment of the special legislation which was brought in to protect children from sexual exploitation in the society”.
In another incident, a church pastor, Kriupakaran, was arrested under the POSCO act for assaulting a girl since 2018 in Chennai. According to the girl’s complaint, the pastor lured a young woman over the last four years from the time she was a minor. She said Kirupakaran lured her with food and new clothes and sexually abused her several times. After she complained of misbehaviour, the pastor was shifted to another church in Gummidipoondi.
The victim said her ordeal did not end after his transfer to another church. He allegedly kidnapped the girl on a few occasions, detained her at his house in Gummidipoondi and sexually assaulted her. He also sent messages and porn video clips to the girl’s mobile.
According to the victim, Kirubakaran met the woman at a church in Periyar Nagar Villivakkam in 2018. The victim was 17 years then and was working as a church assistant. Based on the complaint, villivakkam all-women police registered a case and arrested him under the POCSO act.
In April this year, Kovilpatti All woman police arrested 57-year-old Thomas Samuel, headmaster of a government-aided primary school run by a church in a village in Thoothukudi district, for sexually harassing girl students for the last three months. The horror came to public attention when a parent of an affected girl complained to the police. He was arrested and remanded.