New Delhi: A Delhi court has sentenced two youths to life imprisonment for strangling a minor after trying to sodomise him, observing that incidents of sexual assault on children are on rise and judiciary has "zero tolerance" for such offences.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau handed down the jail term to Delhi residents Sunil (25) and Fahim (22) for killing and trying to sodomise the 14-year-old boy, saying "Let those who mess with children know that the justice system in India has zero tolerance for it and a single moment of madness can lead them to a life behind bars."
The judge also observed that "lately cases of aggravated sexual assault on children including sodomisation are on the rise", adding that the physical pain and trauma faced by the child is the same, whether its a boy or a girl.
The court, which also imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on each of the convicts, directed that the amount be paid to the father of the victim as compensation.
While convicting Sunil and Fahim, the court noted that the motive behind the murder was to sodomise the child but his "stiff resistance" failed their attempt and he was killed.
Observing that the duo were the victim's friends, it said, "ironically, these offences are committed by those who are closely related and known to the child... The victim was a vulnerable prey for the convicts who were previously known to him, rather friendly to him".
According to the prosecution, on November 7, 2012, the child had gone to a video games shop with the accused and told his younger brother that he would come late with them.
When the boy, a resident of Jahangir Puri, did not return home, his father went out to search for him and went to an empty plot of land where he met the accused. They told him that the child had already left for home, it said.
Later, the father was informed that the child's body was found at the same plot by some neighbours and was taken to a hospital, it said.