A 24-year-old man in Surat on Wednesday was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of 20 years for the abduction and rape of a 14-year-old girl by a fast track court.
“The court had considered aggravating and mitigating circumstances and the seriousness of the offence, wherein the victim is a minor girl and the accused was 23 years old at the time of the commission of offence. Children are precious human resources in our country. They are the country’s future. A crime against a child is a crime against humanity and society. The rape was committed in such circumstances, it is the duty of the court to award proper and adequate sentences. The court has a duty to consider and credit the trauma faced by the victim girl and her family. Rape is a physical as well as mental injury,” read the court’s order.
The girl was abducted by the convict, Jay Prapat Valvi, last year in December from her uncle’s home. Valvi lived near the house, and he kidnapped the teen on December 23, 2022. As the family found the girl missing, they registered a police complaint.
Two months later, Valvi was arrested and sent to judicial custody at Surat jail after police remand. Police had registered offences under Indian Penal Code sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc.), 376(2)(j)(n)(aggravated rate committed by person in authority) 376 (3)(rape on a woman who is under 16 years old) and under various sections of POCSO Act. A chargesheet was later filed with the Surat Fast Track Court (POCSO) of Judge S R Solanki.
After examining 16 witnesses out of 23 witnesses and listening to the arguments from both sides, the Special Fast Track Court convicted him on Wednesday. The court has said the survivor should be given a compensation of Rs 50,000.
During the arguments, while defense lawyer S R Zanzrukiya insisted that Valvi was the sole breadwinner of the family, Assistant Public Prosecutor Dipesh Dave stressed that the girl was raped multiple times. “The rape incidents involving minor girls are rising, and to set an example, maximum punishment should be given to the accused,” he had said.
After the verdict was announced, Dave said, “We are very much satisfied with the verdict. The court had observed our arguments and taken them into consideration and convicted Jay Pratap Valvi for 20 years of rigorous imprisonment.”