Pune: Two youths sentenced with 20 years rigorous imprisonment in minor girl repetitive sexual assault case

by pranjalipargaonkar
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Pune : Two youths were sentenced with 20 years of rigorous imprisonment in a case related to repetitive sexual assault on a 11-year-old girl, who was the daughter of their friend. Sessions Judge G P Agarwal read out the judgment on Wednesday while observing that this was a fit case wherein such punishment is to be awarded. “It will give a lesson to the accused and a strong message is sent in the society that such instances are tackled by the judiciary with iron hands,” said Judge Agarwal in his judgment.
Ganesh Vilas Bhalerao (27) and Sudhir Chtrabhuj Gaikwad (27), both residents of Sangvi were held guilty by the Sessions Court. The judge observed, “Here is the case in which the accused is aged about 28 years. Striking the balance between the act committed by the accused and status of the victim would be the just punishment. Indeed, such cases are on rise and to tackle the same, deterrent theory of punishment will have to be used. At the same time, the fact that the accused has ailing parents. Therefore, this court is not inclined to impose extreme sentence of life imprisonment. At the same time, this is a fit case wherein such punishment is to be awarded that should give a lesson to the accused and send a strong message to the society that such instances are tackled by the court with iron hands.”
The crime incident was reported at Mula Nagar in Sangvi in November 2015.  Ganesh and Sudhir were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). The grandmother of the victim had lodged complaint in the case

The minor girl had lost her mother in 2013 and was staying with her father and brother when the incident took place. She was studying in Class IV at the time of the incident. On November 1, 2015, the victim’s grandmother got a call from a neighbour and she asked her to come to Sangvi. The woman narrated that both Bhalerao and Gaikwad committed sexual assault on her granddaughter. The victim said both the men used to come to their house to enjoy drink with her father. They also harassed her and whenever she resisted them, she was threatened and sexually assaulted two-three times.

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