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POCSO | Kerala Court convicts Clinical Psychologist to 7 years rigorous imprisonment for the sexual assault of minor boy

POCSO | Kerala Court convicts Clinical Psychologist to 7 years rigorous imprisonment for the sexual assault of minor boy

Recently, Kerala Court convicted a Clinical Psychologist of 7 years of rigorous imprisonment for the sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy who used to consult him in the counselling centre run by him. 

During the trials, the Court mentioned that it was a second criminal case against the accused.

The bench headed by Thiruvananthapuram Judge Aaj Sudarsan recalled the words of an American Psychologist that Psychology is about bringing out the best in people and building the strength of character but this is a case of, it added,

"A Clinical Psychologist who has remorselessly assaulted his patient, a boy for sexual gratification reminding of the old proverb ‘What can be done when fences eat crops’".

The prosecution case, led by Special Pubic Prosecutor Vijay Mohan R.S., was that the accused, apart from giving counselling to people with mental disorders, victims of abuse, and so on, was also working as an Assistant Professor in Heath Department.

Case Brief

In the said matter, the 13-year-old victim took a counselling session from the accused. It was during this time that the accused had sexually assaulted the minor victim boy in more than one instance. He was also accused of criminally intimidating the minor victim from disclosing the incident to anyone else. The victim disclosed the case two years after the incident. The accused was thus charged with Sections 506 (i) IPC, 9(c) r/w 10, 9 (e) r/w 10, 9(k) r/w 10, 9(l) r/w 10 11 (iii) r/w 12 of the POCSO Act, 2012.

Counsels for the accused argued that he was a Clinical Psychologist who had flourished in his career.

The Court in this case noted that the defence could not bring out any material to show existence of any animosity or jealousy of the doctors towards the accused nor the animosity shown by the family of the victim to the accused, and accordingly brushed aside the arguments raised by the accused.

"Mere presence of interns inside the cabin present in his consulting room does not mean that they would be watching or listening to the secret and confidential talks between the patient and the accused...The evidence given by PW3 and PW4 clearly shows that the accused used to talk to them first whenever they had taken PW2 for consultation and after that he used to call PW2 to the consulting room and the consultation always took place behind closed doors while they used to wait outside the consultation room in the visitor’s waiting area.", Court added.

The Court in its judgement found Gireesh guilty of offences punishable under Sections 9(c) (aggravated sexual assault by public servant) r/w 10 (Punishment for Aggravated sexual assault), 9(l) (aggravated sexual assault on child more than once) r/w 10, 9(k) (aggravated sexual assault by taking advantage of child's mental/physical disability) r/w 10 of the POCSO Act, 2012.

The Court acquitted him of the offences punishable under Sections 506(i) IPC (punishment for criminal intimidation), 9(e ) (aggravated sexual assault by management or staff of hospital, whether Government or private) , 11(iii) (sexual harassment by showing object to a child in any form or media for pornographic purposes) r/w 12 (punishment for sexual harassment) of the POCSO Act, 2012.

Case Title: State v. Dr. Gireesh K.

 

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