Man who impregnated 17-year-old when he was 19 sentenced to 20 years in jail

  • During the investigation, police took the DNA sample of the survivor and her newborn but did not take the sample of the accused
  • A paternity test was conducted only after the prosecution intervened during the trial
Representational Image. Photo: Shutterstock/ ANURAK PONGPATIMET

Kasaragod: The Kasaragod Additional Sessions Court (I) sentenced a man to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment for sexually assaulting a minor girl multiple times and impregnating her in 2016. 
At the time of the crime, convict Dikshit T K was 19 years old, said Prakash Ammannaya, the public prosecutor for sex crimes against children. Dikshit, a house painter, started abusing the girl, his neighbour, when she was 16 years old, said the prosecutor. In 2016, when she was 17 years old and studying in Class 12, she gave birth to a child, he said. The child was given up for adoption. 

Kasaragod Town Police registered a case and arrested Dikshit. But the police almost bungled up the case for the prosecution. They took the DNA samples of the complainant and the just-born and established she was the mother of the child. However, the police did not collect the DNA sample of the accused to establish he fathered the child.

The prosecution filed an application in the court to subject Diskshit to a paternity test. The court obliged. "That established the defendant sexually assaulted the girl and impregnated her," said Ammannaya.

Additional sessions court (II) judge A Manoj found Dikshit guilty under the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act's Section 5 (j) (ii) for impregnating a minor girl, and Section 5 (l) for repeatedly committing penetrative sexual assault on a minor girl.

The two crimes, classified as aggravated penetrative sexual assault, attract a maximum punishment of life imprisonment or death under Section 6 of the POCSO Act. In August 2019, the government increased the minimum punishment to 20 years from 10 years with an amendment aimed at "arresting the rising trend of gruesome and heart-wrenching offences being committed against children".

But since this crime happened in 2016, Diskshit was sentenced under the older Act. The judge sentenced him to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment for crimes committed under Sections 5 (j) (ii) and 5 (l) of the POCSO Act, said prosecutor Ammannaya. Since the sentences will run concurrently, he will have to serve only 10 years in prison, he said. 

The fact that the convict was only 19 years old at the time of the crime could have weighed on the mind of the judge, said the prosecutor, explaining the minimum sentence.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 each under both sections on Dikshit, who is 26 years now. The fine shall be paid to the victim to meet her medical expenses and rehabilitation.

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