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Bombay HC upholds conviction of 67-year-old for raping minor girls

The Bombay High Court has upheld the conviction of a 67-year-old man for sexually assaulting two minor girls after observing that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice M T Joshi of the Aurangabad bench of the High Court was hearing an appeal filed by Sudhakar Shelke (67) challenging a sessions court order convicting him under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act for assaulting two minor girls, aged seven and four, and sentencing him to seven years in jail.

According to prosecution, the accused and the victim girls’ family used to live in same neighbourhood in Osmanabad district. The girls used to go to the accused’s house to play with his grandchildren and watch television. The parents of the girls were employed as field labourers.

On March 19, 2014, a 13-year-old cousin of the victims saw the accused sexually assaulting the girls when they were watching television. The cousin after coming back home informed the victims’ parents about what she saw following which a complaint was lodged.

The accused in his defence argued that he has been falsely implicated due to rivalry between his family and the family of the victims.

The court, however, refused to accept this and observed that the seven-year-old victim’s statement has been corroborated by the statement of the 13-year-old girl who was an eyewitness to the incident.

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