Four months after the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case in December 2012, another gruesome gang rape of a five-year-old girl took place in east Delhi. POCSO court convicted two men on Saturday for the sensational 2013 rape case, saying the case had shaken the collective conscience of the society.
Additional Sessions Judge Naresh Kumar Malhotra convicted Manoj Shah and Pradeep Kumar in the case, saying that the child experienced exceptional depravity and extreme brutality.
In the five-year-old girl's gang rape case, the charge sheet was filed by the Delhi police on May 24, 2013, against the two accused -- Manoj Shah and Pradeep Kumar, and charges were framed against them by the court on July 11 the same year, it took more than five years to complete recording of the statement of 57 prosecution witnesses in a Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) court. The POCSO court recorded the statements of the prosecution witnesses from July 24, 2013, to October 26, 2018.
Shah and Kumar had raped the girl at Gandhi Nagar area and shoved objects in her private parts on April 15, 2013. They had fled after committing the crime and leaving the girl at Shah's room after believing her to be dead. The child was rescued 40 hours later on April 17, 2013.
"Collective conscience of the society shaken. In our society, minor girls are worshipped as goddess," the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court said. "The child, who was just 5 years old, experienced exceptional depravity and extreme brutality."
Father of the victim expressed satisfaction
The father of the victim expressed satisfaction on finally getting justice for his daughter.
"Though the trial should have been completed in two years, we are happy we got justice after six years," he said.
The court fixed January 30 for arguments on quantum of sentence.
Shah and Kumar were arrested by Delhi police separately from Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga in Bihar respectively in 2013. The charge sheet was filed on May 24 that year and charges were framed by the court on July 11.
It took more than five years to complete the recording of the statement of 57 prosecution witnesses in the POCSO court.
(With agency inputs)