An Ernakulam sessions court today awarded the death sentence to one Ashfaq Alam for the rape and murder of a five-year-old child in Aluva.
Additional District and Sessions Judge K Soman who hears cases concerning offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) pronounced the sentence today after having convicted Alam for the crime on November 4. The conviction and sentence were handed down within four months of the incident.
According to local news channels, the judge opined that Alam did not deserve any leniency.
The crime took place in July this year when Alam, a migrant worker from Bihar, abducted, raped and killed the five-year-old victim girl, who lived in the same building as he did.
The child’s body was discovered in a sack in a swampy area behind a local market in Aluva.
Alam faced 16 charges, including aggravated penetrative sexual assault, rape and murder under various Sections of the POCSO Act and the Indian Penal Code.
The POCSO Court on November 4 found Alam guilty of all 16 offences. The punishment for the crime was pronounced today.
The sentence pronounced today was against a total of 13 legal provisions which fell under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the POCSO Act.
These included Sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 328 (hurt by use of poison), 364 (kidnapping for murder), 366 (a) (procuration of minor girl), 367 (kidnapping for causing grievous hurt), 297 (indignity to human corpus), and 201 (disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. Further, he was also punished for offences under three sub-sections of Section 5 (penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO Act and Section 77 (giving intoxicating liquor) of the Juvenile Justice Act.
The death sentence imposed on Alam was for the offence of murder, whereas he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the offences under the POCSO Act. For hiding evidence, he was also sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment.
Notably, the judgment finding the accused guilty was pronounced about 26 days after the trial began on October 4.
The Ernakulam Court had begun hearing the matter on September 7. Charges were framed and read over to the accused on September 16, following which the matter was heard from October 4 onwards.
The sentence pronounced today comes on the 110th day after the crime, which reportedly took place on July 28.