In our society, minor girls are worshipped as goddesses: Court

New Delhi: A POCSO court convicted two men on Saturday for raping a five-year-old girl in east Delhi seven years ago, saying the case had shaken the collective conscience of the society.

The gruesome incident at Gandhi Nagar in April 15, 2013, in which the convicts shoved objects in the victim's private parts and abandoned her in Shah's room believing she was dead, had happened four months after the Nirbhaya gang rape-and-murder case in December 2012. The child was rescued 40 hours later on April 17.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court convicted Manoj Shah and Pradeep Kumar, and fixed January 30 for arguments on the quantum of sentence.

In an over 100-page judgement, Additional Sessions Judge Naresh Kumar Malhotra said: "In our society, minor girls are worshipped as goddess on certain occasions, but in the present case, the victim child, who was aged about five years at time of incident, had experienced exceptional depravity and extreme brutality."

"The crime against the victim was committed in a most grotesque and revolting manner and the collective conscience of the community was shaken," the court said.

It convicted the two under sections 363 (kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement), 201 (disappearance of evidence), 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 376 (2) (gang rape), 377 (unnatural offence) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO Act. The offences entail a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The father of the victim expressed satisfaction on finally getting justice for his daughter.

"Though the trial should have been completed in two years, we are happy we got justice after six years," he said, hoping for death penalty for the convicts.