The Bombay High Court recently upheld a 10-year jail term handed to two youths for gang raping a minor girl in 2011 on the basis of the victim's testimony.
Justice V M Deshpande upheld the conviction of Narayan Ashok Ragade, 23, and Rahim Bashir Shah, 28, both residents of Shah Nagar in Aurangabad. "The evidence of the prosecutrix shows she has given a detail account of the acts committed by the appellants. There is nothing in the evidence to suggest that she was not subjected to sexual intercourse against her will," observed the court.
As per the prosecution's case, the 14-year-old victim was staying with her mother at the time of the incident. On November 2, 2011, she had gone to another house which belonged to them, but was partially constructed. Narayan knocked on the door, but she did not open it. A few hours later, the girl stepped out to buy groceries, when the accused took her to a brick kiln nearby and allegedly raped her.
The girl somehow managed to escape and told her mother, who took her to the police station and lodged a complaint. Acting on the First Information Report (FIR), the accused were arrested. During the trial, the prosecution examined 11 witnesses in the sessions court. While the accused claimed they were falsely implicated, the court convicted them on on October 21, 2013, based on the testimonies of the victim and other witnesses and medical evidence on record. This order was challenged in high court.
The high court rejected the arguments made by the accused and upheld the sentence.