A Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) woman has been handed a rigorous imprisonment term of 40 years and 6 months, accompanied by a Rs 20,000 fine. This punishment comes as a result of her complicity in her live-in partner’s sexual assault on her seven-year-old daughter. The Special Fast Track Court in Thiruvananthapuram, condemning her as a “disgrace to motherhood,” asserted that she merits no leniency, thereby justifying the imposition of the harshest possible sentence.
Should the accused fail to pay the fine, an additional six months of imprisonment will be enforced, the court said.
Notably, cases where mothers face legal consequences in POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) cases are very rare.
The incident happened between March 2018 and September 2019, during which the convict, separated from her mentally ill husband, was living with her male friend, Shishupalan, the prime accused in the case. The woman’s younger daughter, who was 7 at the time, also lived with the couple.
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The court found that Shishupalan raped the girl, resulting in injuries to her private parts. Shockingly, the girl was sexually assaulted by Shishupalan several times with the connivance of her mother during 2018 and 2019.
The victim’s 11-year-old step-sister was also sexually assaulted by the accused. Threatened into silence, the children refrained from disclosing the incidents until they escaped to their grandmother’s house.
The grandmother, appalled by the revelations, relocated the children to a children’s home, where they disclosed the incidents during counselling.
Another lover of the woman also sexually assaulted the child and a separate case in the matter is underway.
Shishupalan died by suicide and hence only the mother was convicted. Twenty-two witnesses were examined and 32 documents were submitted in the case.