A special sessions court on Tuesday sentenced a 25-year-old man to seven years rigorous imprisonment for raping a 43-year-old woman in suburban Mumbai.
Though the victim had filed a complaint of molestation,later it was changed to a rape case after local activists and the police officials investigating the case persuaded the victim not to let the accused get away with such a serious crime.
According to the police,on May 12,2007,while the victim,who runs a tailoring shop in Govandi,was returning home after work she met her friend and went to a nearby ice-cream parlour. The accused,Sandilkumar,and his friend were in the ice-cream parlour at that time. Sandilkumar and his friend started passing lewd comments on the victim. According to the victim,she and her friend immediately left the place and started walking to her residence. The duo followed the victim till her house and assaulted her with a stick outside her residence,in front of a neighbour who did not interfere.
When the victim tried to run towards her house,the accused beat her up and dragged her to a nearby lane where she fell unconscious. Sandilkumar had apparently raped her. Following this the duo took her to Sion Highway and left her on the road. Later,a passer-by found her on a public ground at Sion and she was taken to the police station.
After four days,the victim filed a rape case under section 376 of the IPC. One of the neighbours who had witnessed the entire incident, turned hostile before the court. However,Judge Ganedivala sentenced Sandilkumar to seven years RI and also ordered him to pay Rs 15,000 as compensation to the victim. His friend is absconding.