A Special Court in Mumbai has sentenced a man to 25 years of rigorous imprisonment for repeatedly raping his minor daughter and lauded the girl's grandmother for seeking justice.

Special Judge Bharti Kale last week found the accused guilty of an offence committed under the relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The detailed order was made available on Tuesday.

The victim was living with her grandparents, father, uncle and two siblings, as her mother had left the accused seven years before the incident due to family dispute. The complaint was lodged by the victim's grandmother after she came to know about the incident.

The victim's grandmother needs to be commended for seeking justice even though she will be required to look after the children of the accused at such old age, the Court observed in its order.

Further, the Judge said a father lays a foundation of security, trust and love. He makes his daughter's life safe and protects her from getting hurt.

But the victim's father himself has caused immeasurable pain to her. The childhood trauma is bound to affect the victim. The court is confident that she will cope with the same with the help and guidance from various agencies established under the POCSO Act, the Court said.

It noted that the accused does not deserve much leniency, as the offence committed by him is heinous which affects the fabric of life.

The advocate for the accused submitted in court that the man had stopped his daughter from playing and talking to the boys. Hence, there were frequent quarrels between her and the accused, who has been falsely implicated. Further, the incident as narrated by the victim is highly improbable, as about seven to eight persons were staying in a 10' x 10' room, he argued.

The Court, however, held that the accused himself had not entered into the witness box, nor did he give any reason as to why his daughter and mother were deposing against him.

The victim has categorically deposed that she was not in relationship with any man. Therefore, the defence of the accused that he has been falsely implicated due to the affair of the victim is not proven through probable evidence on record, the Court said.

The Court further said that the incident occurred when the victim was sleeping in 10' x 10' room with her grandmother, siblings and the accused. If the victim had shouted then such heinous acts would have been averted.

The victim's failure to raise her voice is mainly for the reason that there is fear in the minds of children that if a close relative commits such an act then what will happen to their life. This kind of fear is real when the children are not protected in their own house and they are afraid of the outside world, the Court observed.

With PTI inputs