In the matter at hand Dilu Jojo v. State of Odisha a criminal appeal was filed against the Additional Sessions Judge’s judgement, which sentenced the convict to ten years of strict imprisonment for violating Sections 376(2)(i) of the Penal Code of 1860 and POCSO Act Section 6. Using Sections 376(2)(i) of the India penal code 1860 and Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, the mother of a little child accused a convicted felon of raping her daughter on August 5, 2015. A five-year-old child was having fun on the playground with her older sister and a friend. The Additional Sessions Judge determined that the victim was a little girl who had been sexually assaulted by the defendant. The defendant was found guilty by the court and given a ten-year jail term and a Rs. 5,000 fine.
Conclusion of the Court
The Orissa High Court’s Single Judge Bench overturned the challenged judgement and ruled the defendant guilty in accordance with Section 10 of the POCSO Act.
The court concluded that the testimony of a little girl cannot be disbelieved due to witness non-examination. The Court emphasised that when demonstrating a fact, the quality of the evidence, not its quantity matters. The prosecution doesn’t have to question every nearby witness because the victim’s testimony is sufficient to uphold the conviction. The court also determined that the testimony of the little girl could not be disregarded, even though some witnesses in the area weren’t questioned. The Court determined that the convict’s acts did not meet the criteria for rape or penetrative sexual assault under Section 3 of the POCSO Act after examining Section 376(2)(i) of the IPC and Section 6 of the POCSO Act. The statement of the little girl was mute on whether the criminal had penetrated his abdomen, insert anything, or altered any part of his body. The court also had a hard time concluding that the defendant committed either penetrative sexual assault under Section 3 of the POCSO Act or rape under Section 375 of the IPC against the young girl.
The POCSO Act’s Sections 8 and 9, which describe sexual assault and aggravating sexual assault, respectively, were considered by the court. According to Section 10 of the POCSO Act, severe sexual assault is punished. The court determined that the defendant’s actions, which included forcing a young girl to lay on a stone while undressed and then sleeping on top of her, constituted sexual assault in accordance with Section 7 of the POCSO Act. According to Section 10 of the POCSO Act, the court found the defendant guilty and sentenced them to seven years in prison. The prisoner was taken into jail by the court on May 20, 2015, and was never freed on bail during the trial or appeal. If the convict’s custody was not necessary in any other case, the court ordered that he be released. The convict’s financial situation and the fact that he was brought into judicial custody on May 20, 2015, were the basis for the ruling.
CASE NAME – Dilu Jojo v. State of Odisha, Jail Criminal Appeal No. 109 of 2018