ERNAKULAM: Today, the Ernakulam POCSO court heard arguments about the punishment for Asfaq Alam, accused of raping and murdering a five-year-old girl in Aluva, Kochi. The court is likely to pronounce the punishment on November 14, 2023.
Last week, the Ernakulam POCSO court found Asfaq Alam guilty on all 16 charges, which include abduction, rape, murder, and the destruction of evidence.
The court heard the both the arguments of the defense and the prosecution in detail today.
The prosecution advocated for the maximum punishment of death penalty to the accused, citing the brutal crime as “rarest of rare”.
However, the defense raised concerns about the government’s report on the accuser’s mental status, suggesting that it should not be accepted. In court, the defense counsel argued that an independent agency should reevaluate the accuser’s mental state, and the accuser’s age should be considered as a potential mitigating factor.
But, prosecution asserted that the accuser’s age should not be a mitigating factor against awarding the death penalty. The prosecution also presented the accuser’s previous criminal background.
The prosecution provided evidence that in 2018, Asfaq Alam was arrested by Ghazipur police in Uttar Pradesh and jailed 1 month for attempting to sexually molest a 10-year-old girl. Afterward, the accused was released on bail, solidifying his status as a habitual offender.
The prosecution emphasized that, in this case, the child was unable to cry due to pouring alcohol into her mouth. Prosecution advocated that this brutal act underscores the accuser’s antisocial nature.
The prosecution remains firm in its stance that this case possesses all the factors to be considered one of the rarest of rare cases, justifying the imposition of the death penalty.
Today, on November 9, after hearing arguments from both sides (defense and prosecution), the POCSO court noted that three of the 16 charges against the accused overlap between the POCSO Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Subsequently, the court announced that the sentencing for the accused will be pronounced on November 14. It’s noteworthy that November 14 is celebrated as Children’s Day in our country.