High Court confirms life to man who raped minor step-daughter

Bombay High Court (HC) has confirmed the life sentence awarded by a lower court to a man who raped his step-daughter thrice.

In a recent judgment, justices V K Tahilramani and Sadhna Jadhav said they were convinced Devaji Padave indeed raped his 13-year-old daughter the first time on her birthday, December 7, 2001, at their home in Vikhroli.

When the teen tried to shout, he slapped and gagged her with a cloth and threatened to throw her before a train. The second time the girl's mother saw Padave raping the girl on January 3, 2002, but chose to keep quiet as she too was threatened. The third time Padave's minor son was witness to the crime.

The mother of the girl is a widow and used to stay with the accused. She and her children were dependent on Padave.

The victim used to go to church regularly and confided in a fellow worshipper, Felcy Fernandes, who took her to police. A case was registered on April 20, 2002.

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