A Delhi court has sentenced a man to life imprisonment and his accomplice to 10 years in jail for kidnapping and raping a 13-year-old girl, noting that such an offence has made women and children unsafe on the road, encroaching upon their fundamental right to freedom of movement.
Additional Sessions Judge Gurdeep Singh also awarded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the minor victim, while directing that the amount be paid in equal proportion by convicts Gaurav and Harish, residents of northeast Delhi.
The court said the offence has shaken the conscience of the society and fell in the category of heinous crime.
"This is most heinous nature of offence which has not only caused lifelong trauma and scar on the mind of the victim but also shaken conscience of the society. Therefore, there is no ground for granting less than minimum punishment.
"Further, such offence has not only left deep scar on the victim but also made women and children unsafe on the road which encroaches upon their fundamental right to freedom of movement," the court said.
Advocate Shabnam Khan, appearing for the Delhi Commission for Women, submitted that a higher compensation be awarded to the victim as per the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme, 2015, as the crime has left permanent scars on her life.
While awarding Rs 10 lakh to the minor, the court evoked the schedule provided in the scheme by which, in case of gangrape, the upper limit of compensation is Rs seven lakh and in case the victim is less than 18 years of age, the amount may be increased by up to 50 per cent.
"Keeping in view the age of the victim, economic conditions of the victim, the effect which the crime has made on the victim and physical and mental trauma and injury on the private parts she suffered...
"I am of the opinion that the victim child is entitled to compensation. I grant compensation to the victim to the tune of Rs 10 lakh... Which would be adequate for rehabilitation," the judge said.
According to the complaint filed by the girl's mother, she was kidnapped on February 9, 2012 by the two accused in a car and was taken to a room and raped.
The accused claimed that they were innocent and alleged that the girl used to roam around in a vehicle with a boy but failed to produce any further evidence.
The court observed that in the absence of defence witness, the accused failed to create probable doubt in their favour and in view of this unsubstantiated defence, rejected the claim.