Giving credence to the allegations of the victim, which were corroborated by the DNA report, a Delhi court has awarded life imprisonment to a vegetable vendor for sexually assaulting a Lotus Temple employee in south Delhi’s Kalkaji in 2015.
The woman cleaned washrooms at the temple, while the accused was a vegetable seller at Okhla mandi.
The court also awarded a compensation of ₹2 lakh to the victim, to be paid by Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA), South-East District.
The convict had caught hold of the victim and sexually assaulted her while she was on the way to work.
The complaint stated that the victim had taken an unknown way through the bushes to reach the temple on the day of the incident but got lost. Meanwhile, the accused came to her, dragged her into the bushes and sexually assaulted her. She reached a nearby bus stand and narrated the incident to a man standing there. He called the police after hearing that she had been assaulted.
Additional Sessions Judge Renu Bhatnagar convicted the accused on the basis of evidence by the victim and the DNA examination report.
“In the present case, there is consistency in the statement of the prosecutrix. There is nothing on record to disbelieve the statement of the prosecutrix, more so when the same is corroborated by medical evidence,” the judge said.
During arguments on the quantum of sentence, counsel for the accused urged the judge to award a soft punishment submitting that he is the sole breadwinner of the family.
However, the judge dismissed the argument saying, “The convict raped the unknown prosecutrix, which cannot be ignored by the court. His act does not deserve any leniency. Considering the gravity and seriousness of the offence, convict is sentenced to undergo life imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 376 [rape] of IPC and a fine of ₹10,000…”