A special court in Mumbai on Monday found two men, including a sailor with the Indian Navy, guilty of raping a 14-year-old girl in 2015. The court sentenced the sailor to 10 years in prison, while the civilian was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. A third accused, also a sailor with the Indian Navy, was acquitted by the court.
According to submissions made by special public prosecutor, the minor girl was acquainted with the first accused, a civilian. The police said the accused would meet her frequently and in June 2015, had raped her. The second accused, who was serving in the Navy as a sailor, found about it and threatened the victim that he would reveal about it to her parents. He then raped the girl repeatedly by blackmailing her. The third accused was named in the case with the police claiming that he had met the school-going girl, followed her and gave her his number. The third accused had claimed that the sections of rape were not attracted to him. He was granted bail by the court in December 2015. The court acquitted him of all charges Monday.
In his defence, the Navy man told the court that there was a delay of seven months in filing of the FIR. He said that the prosecution’s claim that he had taken the victim to his house, which is an area under surveillance, was not possible without any documentation. He also claimed that the victim had not specified any date, time, when the alleged rape took place. He also claimed that he was on duty in the first week of July, when the alleged incidents took place and had no request to leave the place of duty.
The court, however, said there was sufficient evidence to prove that the assault took place. While the first accused was found guilty under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, the sailor was found guilty under IPC Section 376 (2)(c)(j), which prescribes punishment for an accused who is a public servant.