Amid the nationwide clamour for fast-tracking rape cases, the court of additional sessions judge JS Bhinder disposed of a rape case within eight days of production of the challan. The convict, Jai Parkash Divedi, alias Pawan Dubey, a resident of Ambala Shri Duar (Uttar Pradesh), has been awarded 10-year imprisonment. Two co-accused have been acquitted.
The 17-year-old victim, a resident of Bagwai village in Hoshiarpur district, was kidnapped on May 1, 2012, after she had resisted advances by the main accused and his accomplices. The victim had said in her statement that she was taken to Amritsar and then to Delhi, where she was repeatedly raped and then abandoned. Somehow, she managed to return home.
On the girl's complaint, the police had registered a case of abduction and rape on August 13 against Dubey and two others. Dubey was arrested on September 3 and the others were nabbed on September 30.
The case was committed to the court of the sub-divisional magistrate, which entrusted it to the sessions court on December 22. The police produced the challan in the court on January 2. After piecing together all the evidence, the court announced the verdict on Thursday. Dubey was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), seven years under Section 366 (abduction to induce a woman for marriage) and five years under Section 363 (kidnapping) of the IPC. All sentences run concurrently.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 90,000 on the convict, of which Rs. 50,000 would have to be paid to the victim as compensation, as envisaged in Section 357 (b) of the CrPC.
Maintaining that it was unusual for an Indian girl, particularly from the rural area, to come up with a false story of being a victim of sexual harassment, so as to implicate a person, the court recognised the girl's statement to be true to pass the conviction orders. "There is no reason to disbelieve her testimony, which is supported by medical evidence," the court held.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill said the police and the judiciary made a coordinated effort to dispose of the case.