Hyderabad: A designated child friendly court on Thursday sentenced an auto driver to 10 years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a minor in 2016. First Additional Metropolitan Session judge Suneetha Kunchala pronounced the judgment on Thursday afternoon.
The prosecution alleged that the auto driver Vanka Rajesh who used to take the 13-year-old girl to school in his auto rickshaw took advantage of her and sexually abused her for six months and threatened her with dire consequences if she revealed this to anyone.
Additional public prosecutor K Pratap Reddy told the court that in the month of December 2016 the 13-year-old girl refused to go to school in the auto rickshaw and when asked the reason she told her parents that one day on the way back home, the auto driver stopped near a playground and told the other children in the auto to play in the grounds for some time. He took the victim to a nearby dilapidated and vacant railway quarters and sexually violated her. When she resisted, he threatened her with dire consequences, like killing her parents. He did the same thing several times in the next six months and the 13-year-old girl became pregnant. When she told her parents the whole story, they approached the Lalaguda police of Hyderabad commissionerate, who booked a case and investigated. The court of First Additional Metropolitan sessions judge Suneetha Kunchala found the accused guilty of the offences, punishable under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and 506 IPC and him 10 years rigorous imprisonment and fined him.
Child friendly courts have been set up under the POSCO Act to try sexual offences against minors. Such courts are designed to make children feel comfortable in speaking to judges and lawyers. Hyderabad was the fourth city in the country to set up a child friendly court in April 2018.
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