RANCHI: A special POCSO-cum-children court of Ranchi awarded life imprisonment “for the remaining period of natural life” to a minor and the 12th accused in the gang-rape of a 25-year-old woman on November 26, 2019, at Sangrampur village under the Kanke police station limits.
Special public prosecutor A K Ray said, according to an amended law, a minor aged between 16 and 18 years can be tried as an adult at a children court. The gang-rape survivor had told police that the minor accused, who was around 17-year-old at the time of the crime, was the most aggressive and had also threatened to kill her.
The court order said the minor will undergo “rigorous imprisonment for life term which shall mean imprisonment for the remaining period of natural life”.
Ray said, “Justice K M Prasad passed the life term order and fined the minor Rs 50,000, both under Section 376 (D) (gang-rape) of the IPC. He would have to serve an additional simple jail term of one year in case of default of payment. The court also sentenced the minor to 10 years in prison and fined a sum of Rs 10,000 under Section 366 of IPC (kidnapping). He would undergo an additional term of six months in case of failure in paying the fine. Furthermore, the minor was handed over a prison term of one month under Section 341 (wrongful restraint) and one year term under sections 342 (wrongful confinement) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and three years rigorous imprisonment each under sections 379 (theft) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC.”
The court also stated that the amount collected as fines will be paid to the rape survivor.
The accused was initially referred to the Juvenile Justice Board which transferred his case to the children court after an inquiry. Taking a serious view of the case, the Jharkhand high court had also ordered a speedy trial in the case.
The 11 other accused in the case have already been convicted in March 2020 by judicial commissioner Navneet Kumar who awarded life sentences to all of them under Sections 376D, 366, 342, 379, 411, 323 and 120B of the IPC. The convicted persons are Sunil Munda, Kuldip Oraon, Sunil Oraon, Sandip Tirkey, Ajay Munda, Rajan Oroan, Naveen Oraon, Basant Kacchap, Ravi Oraon, Rohit Oraon and Rishi Tirkey.
On November 26, 2019, the woman and her male friend were standing at a bus stop in the evening hours when the convicts kidnapped her after overpowering her friend. The perpetrators then took her to a nearby field where they took turns to rape her before fleeing. Later, the woman filed an FIR and police arrested the accused within 24 hours.
(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault)