A sessions court's Additional Sessions Judge S K Karhale while creating a significant precedent has convicted and sentenced a woman along with three men, to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment for gang-raping a 12-year-old girl in the year 2016. Judge Karhale convicted the woman along with three men involved with the women in the heinous crime of gang rape under Section 376-D of the amended criminal law.
The decision came for the first time after the 2013 criminal law amendment, which was amended to ensure the safety of the women and to deal sternly with such culprits.
The convicted woman is the rape survivor’s maternal aunt, and also one of the three accused men is in relation to the victim's mother.
However, the woman, who was the prime accused in the case was arrested in June 2016 and has been lodged at the Yerawada central jail since then, whereas, the three accused men somehow managed to get bail from the Supreme Court.
Nonetheless, the police have arrested the three men following their conviction and sent them to Yerawada jail for serving the sentence.
As per the facts, the three accused men have raped the girl in presence of her aunt in May 2016, who took her to the place of incident.
The accused also cautioned the girl not to reveal about the incident to anyone. The rape survivor, however, who came to visit her maternal uncle’s house in Mundhwa in 2016, for her summer vacations informed her parents about the incidents which happened to her during her stay at his uncle's house.
Initially, she only revealed about her aunt's engagement in sexual relations with the three accused men in front of her, wherein she also forced her to do same. Following this information, on May 31, 2016, the police booked the four accused for outraging the girl’s modesty, though later on, she narrated her parents about her gang-rape incident and then recorded her statement before a magistrate, in pursuant to which the police added the sections of gang rape as well as POCSO Act.
Section 376-D of the amended criminal law deals with; when a woman is raped by one or more persons constituting a group or acting in furtherance of a common intention, each of those persons shall be deemed to have committed the offence of rape and shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and with fine.