The sessions court in Lucknow Monday awarded 10 years imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 on Gaurav Shukla, the prime accused in a gangrape case where a 13-year-old girl was kidnapped, tortured and burnt with cigarette butts before being sexually assaulted by six youths in Aashiana area of Lucknow in May 2005.
The court also directed state government to give a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the victim.
Of the five other accused, two were awarded 10 years imprisonment in 2007, one life term in 2013 while two others died during course of trial. Shukla’s case lingered on for 11 years as he utilised all legal avenues seeking to prove that he was a minor when the incident took place. The Supreme Court dismissed his petition last week paving way for the trial court to pronounce judgement.
On Monday, Shukla, who is the nephew of former Samajwadi Party MLC and mafia don Arun Shanker Shukla ‘Anna’, was brought to the court in police security from Lucknow district jail where he was sent after the sessions court had held him guilty on April 13.
“Additional District and Sessions Judge Anil Kumar Shukla sentenced Gaurav Shukla to 10 years imprisonment. A fine of Rs 20,000 was also imposed on him. Court has also directed state government to provide compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the victim,” victim’s lawyer Jalaj Gupta said.
The victim’s father, however, expressed disappointment at the quantum of punishment and said he will move high court. “We will file an appeal against the judgment in high court praying for enhancement of the sentence. Our family has been fighting the case for the last 11 years and we have lost everything while pursuing it. Ten years imprisonment is too small and we don’t feel justice has been delivered to us,” he said.
The case dates back to May 2, 2005 when the minor was kidnapped by four youths, all drunk, from Lucknow’s Aashiana colony. The youths tortured the girl brutally burning her with cigarette butts and took turns raping her in the moving car. She was later taken to a farmhouse belonging to one of the accused where they again sexually assaulted her. Two other youths also arrived at the farmhouse and they too raped the victim.
After several hours of assault, the accused bundled dumped the semi-conscious victim in Hazratganj area. The victim, with the help of a passersby, reached home and informed her parents about the ordeal, following which they lodged an FIR. It took the police over a month to arrest the accused —- Shukla and his friends Aman Bakshi, Bhartendu Mishra, Faizan, Saurabh Jain and Asif Siddiqui. The car used in the crime was seized.
The trial court sentenced Aman and Bhartendu to 10 years imprisonment in 2007. Faizan was awarded life imprisonment in January 2013 while Saurabh and Asif died in a road accident the same year. All three sentenced accused are out on bail.