In an order passed on Monday, Special POCSO judge Awadhesh Kumar announced capital punishment for the principal, Arvind Kumar, besides imposing on him a fine of Rs one lakh. Co-accused Abhishek Kumar, who taught at the school situated in Phulwari Sharif locality of the city, was sentenced to life and slapped with a fine of Rs 50,000.
In Patna, a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court awarded death penalty to a private school principal on Monday after holding him guilty of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old female student inside the school around past two and half years. The victim had later got pregnant.
The special court of ADJ-VI Awadhesh Kumar also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the convicted principal Arvind Kumar alias Raj Singhania (31) while awarding him death sentence and imprisonment for life, respectively, for the rape of a Class 5 student. Besides him, the court also handed over rigorous life imprisonment to school teacher Abhishek Kumar (29) for conniving with Arvind. He was also slapped with a fine of Rs 50,000. Fine from both convicts would be paid to the victim.
The court simultaneously ordered compensation of altogether Rs 15 lakh to be paid to the victim. Besides being the principal, Arvind was also the owner of New Central Public School located at Mitramandal Colony in Phulwarisharif, Patna, where the incident took place. While awarding the death penalty, the court observed that to give lesser punishment to the accused would be to render the justice system of the country suspect, and the common man will lose faith in court.
The court observed in its judgment “Considering the nature of this case against the main accused Arvind Kumar who has committed rape with the victim, I am unable to impose the sentence less than capital punishment. ”The special public prosecutor (POCSO Act) Suresh Chandra Prasad disclosed the incident took place between July and August 2018.
“The matter opened up when the victim started vomiting. Parents took her to a doctor where she was examined and found to be pregnant.” Prasad said the victim was a class-V student in Arvind’s school at the time when the incident took place.
The public prosecutor said that parents later approached police following which an FIR was lodged with Women’s police station in the state capital on September 19, 2018, against Arvind and Abhishek. The special PP said that the teacher Abhishek used to send the victim inside a room in the school building in name of checking her copies by the principal.
“The room had a bed in it where she was raped at least six times by Arvind for one to two months. Both the accused were arrested by the police soon after the FIR was registered.”
Charges were framed against both accused on October 9, 2018, after charge sheet submission,” he said. Prasad said the victim had immediately undergone an abortion at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) after the special court granted permission for performing it looking at the scenario.
“DNA samples were collected from the fetus. It was sent to the forensic laboratory of state police in Patna. The fetus’s DNA sample matched with the samples of the victim and Arvind establishing he was the biological father,” he said. Prasad said the victim had narrated all the ordeal in her statement recorded before a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of Cr. P.C after FIR.
He said, “She supported facts narrated in her statement during the deposition in course of trial too which played an important role making the prosecution case strong. DNA testing was another strong evidence for nailing Arvind.”
Prasad said there were altogether six prosecution witnesses including the victim and investigating officer cum then women‘s police station SHO Ravi Ranjana Kumari in the case and their deposition played a vital role to hold both persons guilty.
The PP said that Arvind’s school was having classes till standard-VI and it got closed soon after the matter came into the public domain.