Mumbai: A sessions court here on Wednesday convicted five persons and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment of 20 years for gang-raping a 32-year-old woman in her shanty near Matunga railway yard in Central Mumbai last year.
Special Women's Court Judge Vrushali Joshi also imposed a fine of Rs 16,000 on each of them. Two out of seven accused, who were juveniles, were earlier sent to a reformatory school by Juvenile Justice Board.
"The five accused have been convicted and sentenced to maximum 20 years for gangrape," said public prosecutor Nilima Kasture.
According to the prosecution, seven persons, including two minors, had barged into the thatched house of the victim on March 16, 2013, and sexually assaulted her by taking turns.
The victim and her husband used to earn their living by selling vegetables they planted on land near the railway yard.
The woman initially went to Dadar Railway Police who transferred her complaint to Matunga police station.
During the investigation, police arrested seven persons, namely Ganesh Ingle, Shahid Sheikh, Imran Sheikh, Ganesh Gurav, Rohidas Gaikwad, besides two juveniles and booked them on charges of gangrape, unnatural sex, criminal conspiracy besides other sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Kasture examined 14 witnesses including the victim whose testimony helped the prosecution in nailing the accused. The victim told the court that the accused had threatened her against revealing about incident.
Defence lawyer Imran Sheikh argued that though the victim claimed that she was raped at 12:30 AM the complaint was registered only later in the day.
"From Matunga, she (the woman) went to CST station and while coming back she reported the incident to the Dadar railway police which raises a question on credibility of the case," Sheikh said, adding that the husband of the woman did not file any complaint with police despite she narrated the incident to him.
However, the court upheld the prosecution's case.