New Delhi: A man, convicted of repeatedly stalking a 10-year-old girl, has been sentenced to nearly 20 months in jail by a Delhi court.
The court, which awarded the jail term to 30-year-old Suraj holding him guilty of repeatedly stalking the minor girl, also said it was a common occurance that people tend to watch 'tamasha' (drama) at a crime scene and do not help the police in its investigation.
While holding him guilty of stalking the Class 5 student whenever she used to get out of her home to go to school or market in an east Delhi locality, the court relied on the victim's testimony as her neighbours or the passers-by had kept themselves away from the probe.
The man, who was in custody since 24 July, 2015, was sentenced to imprisonment for a period he has already spent in jail during the trial as the maximum punishment prescribed under law for his offence was three years.
The girl had complained of four acts of stalking by the man on different dates when he tried to lure her by showing currency notes and trying to induce her by giving some snacks.
The man was granted bail in March this year.
"It is a judicially noticeable fact that public persons try to avoid police proceedings and generally do not participate in criminal cases by going to the police station and courts.
"They are ready to see 'tamasha' (drama) at the spot but do not cooperate with the police authorities. In such a situation, the statement of the investigating officer that he asked some passers-by or neighbours to join the investigation and they refused, cannot be disbelieved," Additional Sessions Judge Ashwani Kumar Sarpal said.
The child's mother had lodged a complaint with the police in Geeta Colony in July 2015 that Suraj used to follow her daughter repeatedly. She had once raised an alarm after spotting him stalking her daughter and called the police.
The court said the child has mentioned four specific instances which clearly showed that the man was stalking her and had said it could be presumed that he was doing this act with sexual intent.
"The testimony of this victim cannot be disbelieved merely on the ground that no specific date, time or place is mentioned where accused stopped her and offered to provide eatable thing. It cannot be expected from a little child of 10 years to remember all these details minutely," the court said.
It said that non-examination of any other eye witness, the child's friends who were with her at the time of these incidents, was not sufficient to discard the victim's statement.
"The non-examination of the complainant, being the mother of the victim or any other eye witness in the present situation, becomes immaterial when the testimony of the child is reliable and convincing. I find no ground to reject the testimony of the victim," the judge said.
During trial, the man denied the allegations against him but chose not to examine himself or any other witness in his defence.
Updated Date: Jul 10, 2017 18:20 PM