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HC dismisses criminal appeal

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Teacher convicted in stepdaughter’s rape case

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, June 28: The High Court of Meghalaya on Friday dismissed a criminal appeal filed by a man convicted of raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter.
The court observed that as a father and teacher, the convict had accomplished negative roles and projected himself as a wrong figure to the society.
The criminal appeal was directed against the judgment and order dated 09.03.2023, passed by the Special Judge (POCSO)/Addl. DC(J), East Jaintia Hills district, Khliehriat, in a special (POCSO) case wherein the man was convicted by the trial court under Section 5(l)/6 of the POCSO Act and Section 506 of the IPC.
He was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and directed to pay a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the victim.
The victim’s mother had lodged a complaint with the Khliehriat Police Station on June 22 last year, stating that the convict, Lios Swer, who is a teacher and stepfather of the victim, had sexually assaulted the minor.
After investigation, a charge sheet, dated 03.12.2013, was laid before the Jowai ADM and after inclusion of Section 6 of the POCSO Act, the case was transferred to the Special Judge (POCSO), Jowai.
Subsequently, after the bifurcation of the district judiciary, the case was tried by the Special Judge (POCSO)/Addl. DC(J), East Jaintia Hills district. The prosecution had examined seven witnesses.
Statements under Sections 161 & 164 CrPC were obtained from the victim. The accused was questioned under Section 313 CrPC and he denied the charges levelled against him. After analysing the evidence let in by the prosecution, the trial court found the accused guilty of the offences and convicted him.
The High Court said it was unfortunate that the appellant, in the guise of providing shelter to the victim and her widowed mother, indulged in the commission of the offence of rape/sexual assault, which is unbecoming of a schoolteacher.
As ordered by the trial court, the High Court directed the convict to pay a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the child.

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