Bhopal, July 11 : In possibly the first case after the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act was amended to provide for death penalty in cases of sexual offences against children, a special court on Thursday handed down capital punishment for a man convicted of raping and murdering an eight-year-old girl.
The case was fast-tracked after public outrage over the gory happening 32 days ago.
Special Judge for Pocso cases Kumudini Patel condemned Vishnu Bhambre, 35, to death on two separate counts – murder (Section 302) and raping a girl 12 and below (Section 376 AB) of the Indian Penal Code, Special Prosecutor and Pradesh Prosecution PRO Sudha Vijay Singh Bhadoria told media persons.
She said that the convict was also sentenced to life in prison for having unnatural sex with the 8-year-old girl, whom he killed.
The Union Cabinet earlier this week gave its nod to amend certain sections of Pocso Act, 2012 to include provision of death penalty in cases of sexual offences against children. The modification is made to introduce stringent measures to deter the rising trend of child sex abuse in the country according to Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.
The special judge awarded three years and seven years imprisonment to Bhambre for kidnapping the minor under Section 363 and abduction for forced illicit intercourse (Section 366) of the IPC, respectively, Bhadoria said.
All the sentences will run concurrently, she added.
Bhambre has been nailed mainly on positive reports of Bhopal Regional Forensic Science and Sagar-based Forensic Science Laboratory in connection with DNA and other vital aspects, she said.
Bhadoria said that Judge Kumudini examined the prosecution’s 30 witnesses before convicting the accused and announcing the sentence.She said that the charge-sheet which they filed against the convict on June 12 ran into 108 pages.
The girl went missing after she came out of her house in Kamala Nagar area on the evening on June 8 to make a purchase, and her body was found near a drain the next morning in the area. Bhambre was arrested from Mortakka village in Khandwa district on June 10.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath welcomed the stern punishment to the guilty, noting the verdict came just 32 days of the crime taking place.