Sodomy charge allowed against French consular official
A trial court Tuesday allowed the special public prosecutor's application to charge French consular official Pascal Mazurier with committing sodomy on his four-year-old daughter.
"The offence of sodomy has been included as an additional charge against the accused (Mazurier) and the court will frame (charges against) him March 15 on this count too," special public prosecutor B.T. Venkatesh told IANS here.
The 40-year-old Mazurier was charged under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Sessions Judge Shubha Gowdar had Feb 10 framed charges against Mazurier under section 376 of the IPC for sexually assaulting his minor daughter.
Gowdar is also the special judge for the protection of child rights.
If convicted, Mazurier faces life imprisonment in both the cases.
He was present in the court Tuesday when the fresh charge was allowed.
Under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2013, (POCSO) justice has to be delivered within a year of filing the charge sheet.
"POCSO has a one-year time limit for completion of trial. As the case against Mazurier has been going on for over six months, it is essential to complete the trial at the earliest in the interest of the victim," said Kumar Jahgirdar, founder and president of Crisp, a non-governmental organisation.
Jahgirdar is the legal counsel for Mazurier and his mother to fight for justice under Indian laws.
Mazurier, however, has pleaded not guilty to the offence.
Mazurier, who is on bail in the sexual abuse case, filed an application in the trial court seeking an order to discharge him from the criminal case on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
The criminal case was filed by Mazurier's estranged Indian wife Suja Jones.
Police filed an additional charge sheet against Mazurier Jan 7, 2013, with a detailed report of doctors who said the daughter was sodomised and raped by the father over the past two years.
The child was examined by doctors from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), including a psychiatrist and psychologists.
Mazurier was arrested June 19, 2012 after a case was registered June 15, 2012 under section 376 of the IPC on a complaint by Jones accusing him of abusing their child and of domestic violence against her.
The Karnataka High Court, however, granted him bail Oct 12, 2012 while the criminal case was pending in the session court for trial.
(Posted on 11-03-2014)