Girl's foster uncle gets 20-year RI for raping her

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Thane, Jul 9 (PTI) A Thane court has sentenced a man to 20 years rigorous imprisonment for raping a minor girl, who considered him her "mama" (maternal uncle), observing the crime was "heinous and disgusting" and needed to be dealt with a heavy hand.

The 54-year-old accused does not appear to have honoured the relationship of a foster maternal uncle with the girl, special POCSO court judge Ruby U Malvankar said in an order on July 5.

A copy of the order was made available on Monday.

The man was convicted on charges of rape, criminal intimidation and under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act.

Special Public Prosecutor Rekha Hiwrale told the court that the victim, then aged 16, approached the police in 2018 with a complaint, saying she lived with her father and two brothers in Manpada area of Maharashtra's Thane district.

In August 2017, her foster maternal uncle, a cook by profession and hailing from Ahmednagar, came to stay at their place.

He behaved well for a few days, but from September he started touching her under some pretext when no one else was at home.

One night, when the girl's father was inebriated and asleep, the accused touched her inappropriately and raped her, the prosecution told the court.

When the girl shouted, the accused gagged her and threatened to kill her if she informed about the incident to anybody.

Following the threat, the girl did not tell anyone about the offence and thereafter, the accused frequently touched her inappropriately.

When she told him that she would inform her father, the accused left their place.

Based on the girl's complaint, the police registered an FIR on June 16, 2018.

The judge in her order said the offence proved against the accused is "very heinous and disgusting".

"He committed the said offence on a girl below 16 years of age who used to treat and call him as 'mama'," the court said.

"The accused does not appear to have honoured the relationship of a foster maternal uncle with his niece-like girl. Such kind of act between such relations is certainly not acceptable and deserves to be condemned and dealt with a heavy hand in order to send appropriate message in the society to like-minded persons to act as a deterrent," it said.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 22,000 on the accused, saying it shall be paid to the victim to ensure her rehabilitation.

It also directed that the judgement be referred to the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) for due compensation to the victim. PTI COR GK