Madhya Pradesh court sentences man to death for raping four-year-old girl in Satna district
Madhya Pradesh was the first state to enact a law last December providing for death penalty for rapists of minor girls below 12.
Satna: A court in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday awarded death sentence to a contractual teacher for raping a four-year-old girl in Satna district nearly three months ago.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma awarded the death penalty to Mahendra Singh Gond (23), under Section 376 AB (rape of woman under 12 years of age) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 5/6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The girl, who was raped on 1 July, is still in a critical condition and undergoing treatment at a Delhi-based hospital.
The court also sentenced the convict to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping the girl.
"The court awarded the death penalty to Gond after recording the statements of the girl and her parents over video-conferencing as they are in Delhi," District Prosecution Officer Rampal Singh said. The judge cross-examined 21 prosecution witnesses.
According to Singh, Gond was friendly with the victim's family. On the night of 1 July, he went to their place in a village here in an inebriated condition to meet the girl's father. There, he saw the girl sleeping next to her father on a cot outside their house. He returned home after meeting the girl's father.
After some time, Gond came back and spotted the girl alone on the cot as her father had gone to relieve himself, Singh said. "Taking advantage of the situation, Gond took the girl away from her house and raped her. After the sexual assault, he dumped her in the bushes."
When the girl's father returned and did not find his daughter, he raised an alarm and the family launched a search for her. Later, they found her lying in the thick bushes. Gond was later arrested by the police and a chargesheet was filed against him.
Madhya Pradesh was the first state to enact a law last December providing for death penalty for rapists of minor girls below 12. On April 21, the Centre brought an amendment to the Indian Penal Code to punish rapists of minor girls below 12 with death.
The additional district court was to pronounce the verdict on Tuesday. Judge Kshama Joshi, however, adjourned the verdict to 12 May
Along with classes 10 and 12, the board has also postponed the practical examinations for Physical Education Training (PET), Diploma in Pre-school Education (DPSE) and Higher Secondary Vocational Courses till further notice