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Man sentenced to life for sexually abusing step children

A 49-year-old man was on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment by a court here for sexually abusing his two step children including a minor boy.

Vasai Sessions Court judge RM Joshi handed out the punishment to accused Zakhir Alam Shaikh and directed him to pay a compensation of Rs. one lakh each to the victims, who are the children of his second wife.

Both the kids–girl aged 11 and the boy (12) — were being subjected to sexual assault since 2011, the court was told.

Threatened with dire consequences, both the victims kept quiet on the abuse and when they opened up to their mother in June 2013, a complaint was registered against Sheikh, PP Ujwala Moholkar told the court.

The girl was repeatedly raped while unnatural sex was performed on the boy, she said.

The accused, who lived with his second wife and children in Nallasopara after divorcing his first partner was tried under sections 376, 377, 323 and 506 of the IPC and also sections 8 and 10 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The judge relying on the evidence and the deposition of the two kids held the accused guilty under the Sexual Offences Act and sentenced him to life term.

Sheikh was also held guilty under various other sections of the IPC, for which he was awarded varying terms and fined.

The minor told her mother about the incident the next day after which an FIR was lodged and Kumar was arrested.

Kumar, who worked as a driver, pleaded not guilty and said he was falsely implicated.

He sought leniency in sentencing on the ground that he has to take care of his aged parents, pregnant wife and two minor daughters as he was the sole bread earner of the family.

The court rejected the contention that Kumar was falsely implicated, saying, “Normally a woman would not falsely implicate a man for the offence of rape at the cost of her character.

“In Indian society, it is very unusual that a lady with a view to implicate a person would go to the extent of stating that she was raped.”

The court also rejected the claim of the defence counsel that there was a delay in lodging the FIR on the part of the minor.

“The sight cannot be lost of the fact that Indian women have a tendency to conceal the offence of sexual assault because it involves there as well as the prestige of their family. Only in few cases, the victim or the family members have the courage to go to the police station and lodge a case,” it said.

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