A POCSO court on Monday sentenced eight people to life in prison for raping and forcing a teenage girl into prostitution, while 13 other people received 20-year prison terms for their roles in the case, including a police inspector, a BJP official, and a journalist.
All 21 defendants in the case had been found guilty on September 15 by the special court established to handle cases filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, and today the court announced the severity of the punishments.
In addition to the jail sentence, the government was ordered by the court's presiding officer, M. Rajalakshmi, to pay the victim compensation of 5 lakh. The judge ruled that she should also get the 21 individuals' fines, which totaled roughly 2 lakh.
The victim's stepfather and stepmother were among those sentenced to life in prison. BJP official G Rajendran, suspended inspector C Pugalendhi from the Ennore police station, and Vinobaji, a journalist for a private media outlet, were among those sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Following a complaint from the victim's mother, the All Women Police in Washermenpet registered the case against 26 people. The chargesheet, totaling more than 560 pages, was submitted in November 2020.
Four of the 26 defendants fled the country, and one passed away while the case was pending. After the case was divided, the prosecution focused on the remaining 21 defendants.
The victim, who was only 13-years-old at the time, was raped by more than 100 people and forced into prostitution. A police inspector, a politician, and a journalist were all involved in the case.