New Delhi: A court here has declared two men guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl six years ago after befriending her, ruling that the minor's consent for physical relation was inconsequential.
Additional Sessions Judge Umed Singh Grewal sentenced Parvesh Rana (30) and Ashish Sehrawat (41) to jail term already undergone by them during the trial.
"It has been observed by the court that the physical encounter with the prosecutrix was with her consent. Convicts Parvesh has remained in jail for more than six years and Ashish for nearly five and half years (as per the reports submitted by the Superintendents of Rohini and Tihar Jail)," the judge said.
"They have to maintain their families and they have faced trial for more than 10 years. All these are mitigating factors which are compelling this court to award imprisonment which they have already undergone and accordingly, it is awarded," he said.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 40,000 and Rs 60,000 on Rana and Sehrawat respectively. It said Rs 80,000 of the total amount should be granted as compensation to the victim.
"The crime had taken place in 2009. So, on the date of commission of crime, the prosecutrix was slightly above 15 years. As per Section 375 IPC, sexual intercourse with a girl of less than sixteen years with her consent is rape. So, it is held that despite sexual intercourse by accused Sehrawat and Rana with her consent, they had raped prosecutrix because she was less than sixteen years on that day," it said.
The court, however, acquitted two other accused -- Gulshan and Amit -- of charges of kidnapping and gang rape. According to the complaint filed in the case, Rana befriended the victim and used to meet her near the school where she was studying then.
One day, when she was playing outside her house in the evening, Rana came and asked her to talk to him for a minute. When she refused he threatened to kill her father, the complaint said.
It further said that out of fear, she boarded his car and was taken to a flat in Rohini, where she was raped by the two accused. According to the complaint, Gulshan had driven the car and Amit had come to visit the others in the flat but did not misbehave with her.
She came back to her home the next morning and told her father about it. Her father went to the police and a case of kidnapping and gangrape was registered against the four men.
The victim maintained in her statement before the court that she was raped by the accused. The court said that the prosecution has failed to prove that there was prior meeting of mind of the three accused with Rana to commit gang rape with the prosecutrix.
"So, the prosecution has failed to prove the charge of gang rape. It has already been held that the victim had voluntarily gone with Parvesh Rana, so the charge of kidnapping has also gone unproved," it said. All the accused denied the charges and had claimed trial.