Delhi HC Convicts “Monster” Father for Raping Minor Daughter

Delhi HC Convicts "Monster" Father for Raping Minor Daughter

Delhi High Court reversed the order passed by the trial court in the year 2019 and held the father guilty for “repeatedly raping” his daughter.

Facts of the Case

In the year 2013, the FIR was registered in the rape case, and as per prosecution the girl was mere ten years old when she was first sexually assaulted for the first time by her father. The girl, who was raped when she was ten years old, put up with her father’s sexual assault for around two years later. The court stated that she went to the police when she realized her father had not changed his behavior, but had continued to beat her mother and brother. Whereas the accused father asserted that he was being falsely implicated in this case. The defendant claimed that because he and his wife were at odds, he had been wrongly accused in the case. He asserted that his spouse had made up a fake accusation that he had sexually assaulted their daughter by portraying her as the victim.

The victim along with her mother and brother moved to the high court, challenging the trial court’s order wherein he, the father, was acquitted for offences punishable under Section 6 (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of POCSO Act and sections 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

High Court’s Ruling

The high court overruled the acquittal ruling, stating that the lower court had misread and misconstrued the evidence and had given unwarranted weightage to the contradictions that were superficial in nature. The bench held that, “the wrongdoer was not any outsider or stranger. The victim must have thought that she would find a monastery in the lap of her father. Little did she realize that he was rather a “monster”. Unfortunately, neither she nor her mother could muster enough courage and report the incident to the police. Had they immediately rushed to the police, the victim might have been saved from perpetual trauma,” the bench observed.

The bench which comprised of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Manoj Jain found guilty a father who had been raping his little daughter for two years on several occasions, overturning a trial court ruling.

Comments on Patriarchy and Crimes Against Women

“In a patriarchal set up, which is still very much predominant in our country, such matters are either not reported at all or reported when it is beyond the tolerance of the victim. Here, the victim did not see any ray of hope as her father, despite being questioned, did not mend his ways and scolded not only his wife but also the victim and in such a peculiar situation, the victim kept on tolerating such sexual assault for approximately two years,” added the court.

This statement highlights the dynamics of power and control in patriarchal societies, where women frequently encounter obstacles when trying to report crimes against them because of social conventions and hierarchies that place an emphasis on men’s authority. It implies that under such a system, instances of violence against women might not be recorded at all or might only be discovered when the victim finds them to be intolerable. The victim’s statement that she endured a sexual assault for two years in spite of her hopelessness highlights the widespread impact of patriarchal standards, which have the power to silence victims and prolong abusive cycles.

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About the Author: Hemansh Tandon