On February 2, a 4-year-old girl lodged in Jaipur’s JK Lone Hospital identified the man who raped her 3 days ago, from nine mug shots pasted on a white sheet of paper. Five days later, the process was repeated in court, and she identified him again, proving it to be the most important evidence in the fastest trial in a rape case in Rajasthan.
The special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act Court in Sikar district completed the trial in five working days and on February 11 sentenced the accused to life imprisonment till death, said public prosecutor Shivratan Sharma.
“The trial began on February 5 and concluded around 8pm on Monday. It took only five working days for the judge to pronounce the man guilty of the heinous crime,” Sharma added.
Before this speedy trial, in 2005, a Jodhpur court had completed the trial in the rape of a German woman by an auto-rickshaw driver and his aide in 11 working days after the police filed the chargesheet. In another case, an Alwar court finished the trial in the rape of a German woman by Bitti Mohanty, son of a senior Odisha IPS officer, in 15 days.
In the Sikar case, the 4-year-old girl was found in a burial ground around 9pm on January 30, a few furlongs away from where she lived with her parents in shanties, said sub inspector Surendra Kumar Saini, who investigated the case.
“She was missing for two hours when her parents began looking for her. They found her in the burial ground with a man later identified as Karan, alias Kalu and Kaliya. The girl was bleeding and the man got injured when he tried to flee. Both were taken to hospital. Later, doctors referred the girl to JK Lone Hospital and the man to Sikar’s district hospital,” the police officer said.
The Khatu police station registered a case against Karan, who does not use a surname, on January 31 on a complaint given by the girl’s family. The man was arrested the same day and was sent to judicial custody the next day.
The accused is a native of Gujarat. He lives with his aunt’s family. The girl’s parents exchange utensils for old clothes as they go around villages.
On February 2, police officer Saini went to Jaipur to record the girl’s statement. The process in which she identified the man from the mug shots was recorded on camera and a CD of this was presented in court during trial.
Prosecutor Sharma said the girl was brought to court on February 7 where she again identified the accused from the mug shots.
“We took the case under the case officer scheme, a programme in which police officers ensure that the witnesses don’t turn hostile so that they get conviction, and finished the investigation in four days,” said Dr Amandeep Singh Kapoor, Sikar’s superintendent of police. He added that the chargesheet was filed on February 4.