New Delhi: Five persons, including two women, have been sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment by a Delhi court in a case in which a minor was raped and later on forced into prostitution.
The court awarded the jail term to Delhi residents Ajay, Sanjay and Vikramjeet for the offence of rape while Ritu and Kamlesh were sent behind bars for abetting rape of the girl.
Additional Sessions Judge Rajneesh Kumar Gupta gave the sentence after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the "seriousness of the offence".
The five convicts have been jailed for various offences including, rape, abetment to rape, buying and selling a minor for prostitution and kidnapping.
The court imposed a fine of Rs 17,000 each on Ajay, Sanjay and his wife Ritu. It also slapped a fine of Rs 11,000 and Rs 5,000 on Kamlesh and Vikramjeet respectively.
The court had rejected the contention of the accused that the minor girl was involved in prostitution on her own will.
"The defence of the accused persons that the victim girl is not a reliable witness as she is involved in prostitution with her own consent and has also worked as prostitute during the period... And was arrested by the police of City Yamuna Nagar and of the police of Dehradun under Immoral Traffic
Act is without any merit as there is no record to prove that she has been convicted in those cases as alleged by the accused persons.
"The pendency of these cases does not affect the credibility of the testimony of the victim," the judge said.
The court held Sanjay and Ajay guilty of rape, constrain to illegal act, selling the over 14-year-old girl for prostitution and kidnapping. Vikramjeet was convicted for the offence of rape.
Further, Ritu and Kamlesh were held guilty for abetment to rape, constrain to illegal act. Ritu was also guilty of kidnapping the minor. While Ritu was convicted for selling the minor for prostitution, Kamlesh was held guilty of buying the girl.
The court said the prosecution has proved that Ritu and Kamlesh has "intentionally aided act of rape" upon the victim. It, however, acquitted two other accused in the case.
According to the police, the minor was kidnapped by Ajay, Sanjay and Ritu and she was confined in a room at Prem Nagar. She was raped by Ajay and Sanjay and thereafter, they sold her to Kamlesh who took her to Haryana.
Kamlesh had bought her for the purpose of forcing her into prostitution and the minor was then sent to a hotel in Dehradun where she was raped by hotel manager Vikramjeet and two others, it said.
A minor girl was also involved in the crime along with these accused and was being tried before the Juvenile Justice Board.