Refusing to show leniency to a physically disabled 26-year-old caretaker of a public toilet for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old who did not have the money to pay for the facility, a special court sentenced him to five years in prison. He also raised the question of whether young girls who use these facilities are safe in using the facilities.
The person identified as Mohammad Yunus Shaikh had requested clemency because of his physical disability. Special Judge under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO) Bharti Kale said in her sentence while deciding the sentence: âThe victim was 9 years old at the time of the incident and when went to the public bathroom, the accused had committed a sexual assault against her. There is no doubt that the accused is handicapped in one hand, but he committed a sexual assault and therefore one cannot be very lenient. “
The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 6,000 on the man and ordered the man’s Rs. 5,000 to be handed over as compensation to the child.
Judge Kale also said: âYou have to see that the incident happened in a public washroom. Public toilets are used by little girls at odd hours … I find there are serious concerns about whether those little girls who use these public toilets at odd hours are safe and protected.
She noted that in the particular case, the public toilets were manned by a man and the men and women sections were adjoining and at a table in the center, the warden sits and collects money from users.
The victim testified in court that she was with her family at her cousin’s home in Govandi. At 4 p.m. on June 5, 2019, she and her cousin went to a public bathroom near her cousin’s home. They told the guard that they did not have the money to pay for the installation. He let them use it, but later when she got out of the bathroom, he took her to a corner and touched her inappropriately.
According to the Shivaji Nagar Police Station, the victim’s cousin sister was also sexually assaulted by the man just before her, but the family had moved to another location and the police were unable to locate her so that she could. be filed in court.
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Posted on: Tuesday November 23, 2021, 8:43 PM IST