New Delhi: A Delhi court has sentenced a man to one year in jail for kidnapping a two-year-old girl here but acquitted him of the charges of rape and sexual assault, saying the child was not a competent witness because of her young age and her mother had turned hostile.
Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain showed leniency in the sentence awarded to Delhi resident Naresh while holding him guilty of the offence of kidnapping under section 363 of the IPC for forcibly taking the girl into an auto rickshaw.
"Taking the victim into an auto without the permission of her parents fulfils the ingredients of kidnapping... Thus Naresh is liable for offence punishable under section 363 of IPC...
"No injury had been caused to the victim... Convict has no criminal antecedents and he belongs to low strata of society.Thus, I am of the view that he deserves a lenient view," the judge said.
The court which also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him, however, acquitted him of the charges of rape under IPC and sexual assault under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, observing that the victim's mother could not identify Naresh in the court and the girl was not a competent witness.
"Though the victim was a material witness but she was too young to depose. She was not even able to tell her age and her address... It is concluded that she was not a competent witness to make a rational statement," it said.
The court also said, "Mere fact that a person catches hold of a minor by arm or otherwise does not mean that the person has any sexual intent."