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India: Jailed child abuser allowed to attend brother's wedding

PTI/New Delhi
Filed on June 24, 2021

The man was sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences case.

The Delhi High Court has allowed a man, serving a 10-year rigorous jail term in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) case, to attend the wedding ceremony of his elder brother.

A vacation bench of Justice Anup J Bhambhani directed that the applicant be taken in custody by jail or police officers in plain clothes to let him attend the marriage function of his elder brother from 11 am till 11 pm today.

Advocate Aishwarya Rao, the counsel appearing for the applicant, told the high court that though this application was moved earlier, it has been listed now since the applicant has approached the court through the jail-visiting counsel of the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee.

The additional public prosecutor contended that although a pre-verification of the ground cited for interim suspension of the sentence was made and it stands confirmed that the applicant's elder brother is scheduled to be married on June 24, further verification from the to-be bride's family could not be completed.

He told the court that the convict's father dissuaded the police officer from conducting verification from the bride's family, saying if her family finds out that the applicant is in prison, they may not go ahead with the marriage.

Noting the submissions, the high court in its June 23 order said, "Considering that the marriage is scheduled for June 24, Ms Rao submits that applicant may be sent in custody to attend the marriage.

Mr Sharma has no objection to this course of action.

"Accordingly, it is directed that the applicant be taken in custody by jail/police officers in plain clothes, to attend the marriage of his elder brother from 11 am till 11 pm tomorrow 24.06.2021 and be brought back to the prison on the same date i.e. on 24.06.2021."

The man has been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years under Section 6 of the POCSO Act, for two years under Section 506 (criminal intimidation) and for 3 years under Section 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code.

He is yet to serve 7 years and 8 months jail term. The high court had earlier dismissed his interim bail application on the ground that he had furnished wrong information.

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