The girl had gone missing on December 14, 2012. She was recovered from Harpreet's custody in the evening by the Mehtiana police. Investigations had revealed that she was lured with sweets when she was playing with other children and taken to a nearby sugarcane field, where she was raped. A medical examination had confirmed sexual abuse.
A chargesheet was filed in the court on Monday. On Thursday, the court gave its verdict. Eight witnesses were examined in two days. Defence counsel SP Bharwal said he could have produced evidence to prove his client's innocence, had he been given some time.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sukhchain Singh Gill said the police and the judiciary had done a commendable job. "We have put the justice delivery system on the fast track," he added.
Last month, the court of additional sessions judge JS Bhinder had disposed of a rape case within eight days of production of the challan. The convict, Jai Parkash Dwivedi, alias Pawan Dubey, a resident of Ambala Shri Duar (Uttar Pradesh), has been awarded 10-year imprisonment for the rape of a 17-year-old resident of Bagwai village in Hoshiarpur district. Two co-accused had been acquitted.