Hyderabad: In a first, a POSCO accused has been sentenced to 20 years of vigorous imprisonment following the 2018 amendment. A local court in Hyderabad that hears POSCO cases has convicted a man to 20 years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a minor girl who was four at the time of the incident. In a judgement that was issued on October 16, the Court also slapped the accused with a fine of Rs 2,000.
The facts of the case are that the accused, Munigala Surendar (55), sexually assaulted the four-year-old victim at his residence in Lal Darwaza in Hyderabad on October 2018. According to the FIR, around 7 pm on October 24, the accused approached the minor girl who was playing beside her house. He lured her by offering chocolates and took her to his room, where he brutally assaulted her.
Following the incident, the victim disclosed her ordeal to her parents on the same evening. On October 25 the mother of the girl lodged a complaint at Shah Ali Police Station. A year into the investigation revealed that the accused is a habitual offender and has committed similar crimes before.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 amends the IPC, 1860, POCSO Act, 2012 and other laws related to the rape of women. It enhances the punishment for rape of women and minor girls.
The bill increased the minimum punishment for rape of girls below the age of 12 years to imprisonment up to 20 years, which is extendable to life imprisonment or death. It has also made the punishment for rape of girls below the age of 16 to minimum imprisonment of 20 years to life imprisonment. For 16 and above, the minimum sentence has increased from seven to 10 years, and the maximum is life imprisonment.