Child rape
[Representational image]Creative Commons

A five-year-old girl's description through a doll of the sexual assault she suffered helped the Delhi High Court nail the man who harassed her. According to the high court, which gave its verdict on June 6, the girl's reference to the private parts of the doll conveyed the information about what had happened with her and also held enough judicial credence to sentence the 23-year-old accused, Hunny.

The court also noted from the case file that the girl, while recounting the ordeal, was hesitant to answer "embarrassing", "derogatory", "dirty" and "vulgar" questions posed by the defence counsel.

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The punishment awarded to the accused was based upon proper appreciation of the evidence and deserves "no intervention", the court said.

Justice SP Garg also added that the child had rightly conveyed the details to the trial court by describing through the doll what was done to her by the accused. The court also added that though medical examination did not find any nail marks on her private parts, as described by the girl to the doll, it cannot be inferred that no such incident had taken place.

However, further internal medical examination could not be conducted as the child's mother wanted to protect her honour.

"The crucial evidence regarding nail marks on the private parts could not be gathered. It, however, does not dilute the oral testimony of the victim whereby by referring to the private parts of the 'doll' in her hand she conveyed the information as to what had happened with her," said the court.

The child was sexually assaulted in July 2014, when the girl was going to school with her 10-year-old brother. The accused gave Rs 10 to the boy and asked him to bring something from a shop. He then kidnapped the girl, took her to Narela in Northwest Delhi and sexually assaulted her after disrobing and slapping her. He then left the child near her house.

She was later taken home by a woman neighbour who found the child crying and wandering on streets without her skirt. Initially, the minor did not disclose anything to her family as she was in a state of shock but later told her mother about the incident.

The girl stopped talking and even distanced herself from her father. It was only during her testimony with Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, when she was given a doll as a distraction, that she described the assault.

While taking to the judge, the minor started putting her hand in the lower apparel of the doll. This prompted the judge to ask the child if this is what the man had done to her, and the child nodded in affirmation.

Further, CCTV footage from the location where she was kidnapped from also proved the man guilty.

This is not the first time a child's description of sexual assault through dolls and drawings was taken up as evidence. A few days ago, 10-year-old girl's sketches, in which she drew a girl holding balloons and with her clothes lying on the floor, also helped a Delhi trial court in convicting her rapist uncle.

"If the elements of this drawing are considered in the background of facts and circumstances of this case, then commission of sexual assault upon her by somebody in her house after undressing her, and it leaving an impression upon her mind, becomes evident," additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav had said while passing the verdict.

"Therefore, I find the child victim to be a competent witness," ASJ Yadav added, while sentencing the victim's uncle, Akhter Ahmed, to five years in prison and imposing a fine of Rs 10,000 on him.