Una: A saint, who was the custodian of a nine-year old orphan girl, has been sentenced to life imprisonment till death by a local court here for raping the minor.
Special Judge Una, CL Kochhar convicted Prem Bahadur (34) resident from Jhulaghat of Bhageshwar district in Uttrakhand for raping the nine-year-old orphan in Haroli tehsil of Una district of Himachal Pradesh, for about four years under relevant sections of POCSO Act, IPC and also imposed penalty of Rs 15,000, district attorney N C Ghai said.
The victim, who is also a resident of Uttrakhand, was left with the accused by her stepfather after she was orphaned and was staying in a hut located at an isolated place in Una.
The matter came to light in April this year when the victim, a student of class IV in a local government school, reported the matter to her school teachers after she was allegedly thrashed and raped, and her clothes were torn by the accused the previous night.
"Subsequently, teachers reported the matter to the police and the accused was apprehended," the district attorney said.
Medical examination of the victim and the accused confirmed rape.
The accused was booked under section 6 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and sections 323, 506 and 201 of IPC.
"Giving due consideration to the plea that the accused was the guardian of the victim, the special court sentenced him to life imprisonment till death-the maximum sentence to be awarded in such rape case-with a penalty of Rs 15,000" he added.