New Delhi: A 72-year-old retired Navy person was among two persons sent to 20 years in jail by a Delhi court for repeatedly gang-raping a young woman and threatening her.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Virender Bhat convicted 45-year-old Rohtash Mann and Ishwar Singh, a senior citizen, and awarded 20 years rigorous imprisonment, the minimum jail term prescribed under the IPC for the offence of gang-rape.
Singh was also held guilty for the offence of Section 354A (I),(II) of the IPC dealing with physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures and a demand for sexual favours.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 each on Mann and his uncle Singh and said, if realised, the amount be given to the victim.
The court relied on the testimony of the woman, who was working and residing as a tenant in Mann`s house, and said her statement was "credible and trustworthy".
"In my opinion, there is ample credible and trustworthy evidence on record to show that the prosecutrix was being continuously gang-raped by the accused and it was done lastly on the night intervening between July 26 and 27, 2013.
"The deposition of the woman appears to be trustworthy and inspiring confidence of this court. Her testimony does not suffer from any material embellishments or prevarications," the court said.
According to the police, the woman came to Delhi in 2012 in search of job and she met Maan in his office and he took Rs 20,000 from her on the pretext of providing her a good job.
She started residing at his house on rent and also used to cook food for Mann`s two children and look after his office work for which he was paying her some money, it said.
Thereafter, Mann`s uncle Ishwar Singh starting residing with him.
It said Maan used to have forcible physical relations with the woman and threatened her not to disclose this to anyone otherwise she would be killed.
On July 26, 2013, Mann and Singh entered the woman`s room in a drunk condition, abused and tore off her clothes.
Mann raped her on gun point and Singh molested her saying, "there is no age limit for enjoying sex", it said.
Singh, who was standing outside the room, told Maan to do whatever he wanted to do with her and threatened to kill her if she raised an alarm, she said. The next morning, she managed to escape and went to her friend`s house and lodged an FIR at Kapashera Police Station.
The woman told the court that both the accused used to come to her room and demanded sexual favours from her.
The court, in its judgement, said it was clear that both the accused had physically assaulted the woman on July 26, 2013, abused and tore off her clothes and then Mann raped her.
"The fact that Singh had told the woman that there is no age for having sex shows that he too intended to have sex with the her despite his old age and the fact that he was standing outside the room while Mann was raping the woman, shows that both were acting in furtherance of their common intention to rape her," the court said.
It also said the evidence established the role of Singh in instigating and abetting Mann in raping the woman.
The court said though the woman was unable to tell the exact dates when she had been raped, it would be "unfair and preposterous to expect a rape victim to keep record of the rape incidents and to narrate them like a parrot before it".
During the trial, Mann and Singh denied the allegations levelled against them.
Singh sought leniency on the ground that he was an aged and ailing man and belonged to a well-educated and civilised family and had seven children.
Mann sought a lenient view submitting that he was a widower and has to look after two minor children.