Maharashtra

Man gets life imprisonment for raping and killing a 4-year-old girl

A man was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping and killing a 4-year-old girl in Mumbai in 2019.

Mumbai: A man was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping and killing a 4-year-old girl in Mumbai in 2019.

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Special Judge for Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act R K Kshirsagar said the last seen theory cannot form the basis of conviction but if it is coupled with other factors, such as when the victim was last seen with the accused, proximity to the time of the recovery of the victim’s body etc, then the accused was bound to give an explanation.

However, if he failed to do so, closing out the possibility of any other hypothesis, then a conviction can be based thereon, the court said. “The evidence of all prosecution witnesses is consistent with each other. The evidence inspires confidence in material aspects.

All the circumstances brought by the prosecution leads towards the complicity of the accused and his involvement in the crime beyond all reasonable doubt,” the court observed. Thus, the prosecution has proved it was the accused who had kidnapped the minor victim, committed rape and then strangled her, the court said in its order of Wednesday, the details of which was made available on Thursday.

The incident took place in February 2019 when the child was sleeping on a pavement in Mahim in Mumbai. After abducting, raping and killing the child, the man dumped the body some 100 metres away from where she was picked up. Special public prosecutors VD More and Sureeta Singh said the case is based on circumstantial evidence.

There is one last seen theory witness from the vicinity who saw the accused kidnapping the girl, they said. The accused was caught after examination of CCTV footage of the area, they added. The court, in its order, said CCTV footage is a strong piece of evidence, which indicates the presence of the accused.

“It became relevant to establish the guilt of the accused on the basis of last seen theory. It strengthened the case of prosecution. The CCTV footage helped the investigators to determine that the accused was involved in the incident,” the court said.

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