Sexual abuse of minors by Pastor (priests) is the one issue, that the world is not in a position of sparing with the lighter punishments.
Proving it another time, a pastor in Kerala has been awarded a 40 year imprisonment for such a crime. Thrissur court, apart from fining upto Rs. 20000, sentenced a 35 year old Pastor named Sanil K James, who was accused of sexually assaulting a 12 year old school girl.
This was done under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) judgement by the Thrissur 1st Additional Sessions Court.
The reports stated that, since the pastor has to undergo two 20-year terms concurrently for his offences under IPC 376(2)(f) and POCSO section 6, he will have to serve a 40-year term in prison.
The reports state that the court found him guilty “under POCSO Section 5 which deals with penetrative sexual assaults of very serious nature perpetrated on children below the age of 12, by heads of religious organizations, teachers, parents, relatives, and police force members.”
Rs 3,00,000, under the provisions of CrPC 357(a), reportedly will have to be paid to the victim from the Victim Compensation Fund of the state government. POCSO special prosecutor Pious Mathew was quoted as saying that the maximum punishment is meant to be a deterrent against such crimes and this was a unique sentence.
Sanil James was a pastor of the Salvation Army Church in Peechi. In April 2014, he assaulted a minor girl near his residence before Ollur Circle Inspector Umesh filed the chargesheet against him.
Another sexual assault case, Mathew was quoted as saying, on a minor SC/ST girl has been registered against him and that trial was yet to commence.
The Child Welfare Committee had filed a complaint against the pastor, before the police started the investigation on the issue.
By Phani Ch