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Noida: 75-year-old Akbar Ali sentenced to life imprisonment for ‘digital rape’ a 3-year-old, know what the term means

The court convicted Akbar of life imprisonment under POCSO Act and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000. The court said, "Out of the amount of fine imposed, 80% shall be paid to the girl for trauma, pain and suffering as she is entitled under Section 357-A of the CrPC."

On August 31, a 75-year-old man identified as Akbar Ali from Malda, West Bengal, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the digital rape of a 3-year-old girl. The incident took place in 2019 in the Sector 39 Police Station area of Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

A complaint was filed against Akbar Ali on January 21, 2019, by the girl’s father. Special Public Prosecutor Neetu Bishnoi said in a statement, “The complainant said at 11 am that day, his daughter was playing outside her home. Akbar lured her with toffee and took her to his room.” The Father of the victim said, “My daughter came home crying and revealed her ordeal to her mother.”

As to the Police, Akbar was staying at his son-in-law’s house in the neighbourhood. One day, when no one was home, he committed the crime. The minor victim had testified in court where she told the court that one day she was playing outside when Akbar lured her into his room with toffee and sexually assaulted her.

The medical examination of the girl was done by Dr Pushpalata, who said in her report, “There was no injury mark on the private part… In my medical report, any rape can’t be confirmed with a medical inspection. The internal inspection of the victim was found to be normal.”

Claiming Akbar was innocent, her granddaughter, who was a defence witness, said it was a false case. She said her family had cooked meat two days before the incident and dumped the bones in the neighbourhood, which led to an altercation with the family of the victim. She said, “The complaint registered is a false case against my grandfather.”

However, her testimony in favour of her grandfather did not work in the court that relied on the testimonies of the victim and her parents. The court convicted Akbar of life imprisonment under POCSO Act and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000. The court said, “Out of the amount of fine imposed, 80% shall be paid to the girl for trauma, pain and suffering as she is entitled under Section 357-A of the CrPC.”

Irshad Ali, Akbar’s lawyer, said in a statement that the judgement was not satisfactory. He said, “The medical report did not establish rape or assault. We will challenge this order in the high court.”

What is digital rape?

Though it may sound related to an offence committed digitally or virtually, the term digital rape has nothing to do with the online world. Digital Rape refers to an act of forceful penetration using fingers or toes without any consent. It is notable that in the English Language dictionary, the word ‘digit’ refers to finger, thumb or toe, thus, the act is called ‘digital rape’.

Until December 2012, digital rape fell under molestation and not rape per se. However, following the infamous Nirbhaya gang rape case, new rape laws were introduced in the parliament, and the act was classified as a sexual offence under Section 375 in case the victim is an adult, and it was also added to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for cases where the victim is a minor. It is notable that Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is also applicable in cases involving minor victims. The accused is tried under both IPC 375 and POCSO Act.

As per the legal definition, rape is an “act of forcing a male genital, any foreign object, or any other part of the body into a woman’s genitals, mouth, anus, or urethra.”

Under POCSO Act, the accused, if convicted, faces five years in prison. However, if the person is charged under Section 376, the punishment can be extended to ten years or life imprisonment with or without a fine.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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