IMPHAL | Dec 20 : The additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court, Crime Against Women, Manipur, A. Noutuneshwari Devi, today sentenced the prime convict of Leihaopokpi hillock gang rape case to rigorous life time imprisonment, and also awarded two others 20 years each rigorous imprisonment with fines.
It is learnt that this is the first time in the country that a court has awarded life imprisonment to any person convicted of gang rape after the amendment of Indian Penal Code 376.
The prime accused identified as Khuraijam Bungbung, 30, son of late Kh. Indrajit Singh of Lamlongei and the two co-accused as Nongthombam Bocha alias Biren Singh, 43, son of N. Bihari Singh and Khuraijam Khamba Singh, 26, son of Kh. Guno Singh both from Lamlongei Mantripukhri Maning Leikai, were pronounced guilty by the Court on December 18.
“The crime committed by the convicts is not only injustice to the victim of the crime in particular but also to the society as a whole”, an order of the court while pronouncing the sentence said.
The court also ordered for providing compensation of Rs. 2 lakhs to the victim from the scheme “Financial Assistance and Support Service to Victim of Rape: A Scheme for Retrospective Justice” launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The defense counsel of Bungbung and Bocha alias Biren Singh, submitted that they are now 30 years and 43 years old, they have their own families having children respectively and there is no previous crime antecedent in their past career and prayed for leniency while imposing sentence to the convicts.
Panel lawyer on behalf of Khamba also submitted that the convict is newly married, till now he has no issue, he also has no previous crime antecedent and this is his first offence and he had no knowledge of the law on the matter. The lawyer also prayed for leniency on the convict.
However, the judge said after carefully examined the case he is convinced the three deserved to be convicted under section 376-D of the Indian Penal Code as act of the gang-rape and acting in furtherance of the common intention of all the convicts caused serious body and mind injury to the victim as well as degraded the very soul of the society and the offence was inhuman.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 10,000 on the prime convict and Rs.5,000 each on the co-convicts and in default of payment of fine the convicts are to undergo three months simple imprisonment.
The court also ordered that the said fine of Rs.20,000 in total shall be deposited to the court and to be handed over to the victim as compensation.
The victim was raped on the evening of January 22, 2014 at Leihaopokpi Hillok Imphal East district when she was dating her boyfriend.
Following the incident, the uncle of the victim lodged a complaint with the Heingang police station around 1 pm the next day (January 23). The police lodged a regular case under FIR no. 04(1) 2014 under section 376/34 IPC.
In his complaint, the uncle said that his niece was kidnapped by three persons at Lamlongei when she (Naobi) was coming from Mantripukhri and after detaining for few minutes at Lamlongei she was raped at Lamlongei jungle.
After thorough investigation of the case charge sheet was submitted and then the case was committed to Session Judge, Imphal East as the offence is exclusively trialable by the court of sessions. Later the case was transferred to the FTC.
Subsequently, charge was framed on July 24, 2017 against the accused u/s 109/354/376/385 and 34 IPC of the IPC.
During the trial it was established by the court with evidence on records that it was gang-rape and thus u/s 376-D IPC was slapped against the accused.
Source: Imphal Free Press