STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 20th Dec:
Additional Sessions Judge of Fast Track Court (FTC), Crime Against Women, A Noutuneshwari Devi on Wednesday sentenced the prime accused in the January 22, 2014 Leihaopokpi hillock gang rape case to life imprisonment and two other co-accused to 20 years rigorous imprisonment with fines.
The term of sentences were announced subsequent to the same court convicting the trio on December 18.
The convicted persons are (main accused) Khuraijam Bungbung (30) son of late Kh Indrajit Singh of Lamlongei, Nongthombam Bocha alias Biren Singh (43) son of N Bihari Singh of Lamlongei Mantripukhri Maning Leikai and Khuraijam Khamba Singh (26) son of Kh Guno Singh also of Lamlongei Mantripukhri Maning Leikai.
During the sentence hearing, conducted in the presence of all the accused persons, the special public prosecutor announced that the trio have been convicted u/s 376-D of Indian Penal Code.
Terming gang-rape as a very serious offence, the prosecutor maintained that such crime is an affront to the society as well.
Prior to announcing the term of sentences, counsel of the convicted trio prayed for leniency on the ground that all three have families, including minor children, to care for and that it was their first instance of committing a crime.
However, Additional Sessions Judge, Noutuneshwari, ruled that the act of gang-rape is in furtherance of the common intention of all the accused persons to cause serious physical and mental harm to the victim as well as degraded the very soul of the helpless victim. The crime committed not only amounted to great injustice to the victim but also tantamount to defying all norms of the society, she maintained.
Pointing out that committing gang-rape is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 20 years and extendable to life term, the Additional Sessions Judge ordered that Khuraijam Bungbung be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for the rest of his life and pay penalty of Rs 10,000.
The FTC also sentenced Nongthombam Bocha and Khuraijam Khamba to rigorous imprisonment for 20 years each and Rs 5000 fine.
In default of payment of fine, the convicts will have to undergo another three months simple imprisonment, it ruled along with recommending payment of compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the rape survivor under the scheme launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.