New Delhi -

One of India's new special courts to deal with crimes against women sentenced a 56-year-old man to death for raping and murdering a child, a news report said on Wednesday.

Judge Virender Bhat on Tuesday sentenced the former farm guard for the crime committed against a 3-year-old girl in 2011, the Times of India reported.

“The courts have to take a stern view of such crimes and inflict harsher punishment possible, so that a stern message is sent to society,” the judge was quoted as saying.

The special courts were established after the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi that triggered nationwide protests demanding measures to ensure women's safety and stricter laws for sexual crimes against women.

Wednesday's ruling was the first by any of the five fast-track courts established in the Indian capital after that December 16

assault. The court concluded the trial within 10 days, the report said.

Five men have been charged with abduction, rape and murder of the student. A sixth suspect is to be tried by a juvenile court if his claim to be 17 years old is verified.

Pre-trial hearings are underway and lawyers say it could take a few more days for the case to be transferred to a fast-track court for the trial. - Sapa-dpa