Minor’s rape: Two women among four convicted in Ludhiana
The court of additional sessions judge Rashmi Sharma on Wednesday convicted four persons, including two women, for a minor’s rape.
The court convicted Sandeep Kumar, Usha, Mona and Davinder Pal alias Bindu, all residents of Meharban for kidnapping and raping a minor girl in 2014.
While the main accused Sandeep Kumar has been sentenced to 15 years in jail, the three others have been sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment each.
The court also imposed a fine of ₹90,000 on the convict, Sandeep Kumar. Of the total fine amount, ₹80,000 will be awarded to the victim as compensation, said the court.
The accused have been convicted under Sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 366 A (induces any minor girl), 376 (2, n) (being a public servant, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape) read with 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The case was registered on September 16, 2014 when the victim was recovered by the police. On the basis of her medical examination, which confirmed that she was raped, a case was registered by the police.
The victim’s mother had reported to the police that she is a widow and mother of three children. Her youngest daughter, who was then 17 years old, was a student of Class 9 and thus a minor. The complainant reported that she had a dispute with their neighbours including Usha, Mona and Bindu who threatened them of dire consequences after the dispute. It was alleged that the family instigated the victim to marry Sandeep, who was known to Bindu. It was alleged that the victim was found missing from her house on September 10, 2014 and taken by Sandeep to an undisclosed location where he used to rape her repeatedly.
The court of additional sessions judge Rashmi Sharma stated that indefeasible conclusion has been reached that accused Sandeep raped the minor in conspiracy with the accused Monika, Usha and Davinder Pal alias Bindu.
While the defence counsel argued that the physical relations between the accused and victim were by consent, the court ruled that since the victim is a minor, the question of her being a consenting party automatically becomes insignificant. “The victim has deposed that the accused had sexual relations with her against her consent throughout the entire period of her stay at his place. The material aspect which cannot be overlooked in the present case is that there is no denial from the side of the accused; in fact their plea is that victim has solemnized marriage with accused which they have failed to prove,” said the court.
The court stated that the Supreme Court has made it clear that the sentence awarded to a convict must not only answer the society’s far cry for justice but also provide a solace to the victim.
“Considering the harmonious construction of deterrent and affirmative approach, the age of the victim as well as that of the convicts, gravity of offence, aggravating and mitigating circumstances pointed out by both parties, the sentencing in the case need not be tampered with any mercy,” said order read.