Life imprisonment for Sunil Rai found guilty in Teesta Rape Case

Darjeeling, September 10: This is a brutal case of rape of a three year old child hailing from a remote village "Gafur Busty" Teesta. On the 18th Day of April 2014 at around 6pm this child was playing with some children at the courtyard of one Dil Kumar Darjee who runs a small restaurant. The accused Sunil Rai was present at the shop and taking chance of the children playing and on the pretext of buying sweets to the child picked up the child and took her towards the ground side a secluded area where he committed rape. The mother of the Victim girl was on the look out of the child as it was getting dark and could not see in the companion of the children who were seen in the courtyard of the Dil Kr Darjees shop. The shop owner and another vital witness one Smt Reshma Darjee had seen the accused Sunil Rai take away the victim child towards the ground side and on the basis of the said information they followed towards the ground side. After search for quite a long time they heard a sound of cry and in agony from the bush side and to an utter dismay they found the said victim child in semi conscious condition with blood stains from the lower side of her body. By this moment many villagers had gathered and on the eastern side of the hill amongst the bamboo groves they could see the accused Sunil Rai running away seeing the crowd gather. Some people started following the accused person who had taken the footpath road on the northern side of the bamboo grooves leading towards a cluster of houses. They all chased and by this time the accused entered the house of another co accused Prabal Pradhan who gave him shelter. In the mean time the accused was seen talking to one Sambhu Subba. Around 9 pm the police also came to the place of Prabal Pradhan but the accused could not be found. The said Prabal Pradhan and Sambhu was arrested. Sunil Rai was arrested from a hotel at Kalimpong the very next day.
Lime imprisonment for Teesta Rape Case guilty Sunil Rai
Lime imprisonment for Teesta Rape Case guilty Sunil Rai
The case was charge sheeted u/s 376(2)(1)/ 212 Indian Penal Code read with Section 6 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual offence act, 2012.
In total 17 witnesses were examined.
The Court gave an observation that the accused Sambhu Subba was acquitted as he had no role to play with respect to rape or harbouring (giving shelter to accused) BUT Sunil Rai was found guilty of the offences u/s 376 (2)(1)/ 212 I.P.C. read with 6 of POCSO Act 2012 and Prabal Pradhan u/s 212 for harbouring, on the 8th Day Of September 2014.
Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Santanu Mishra, Court II, pronounced the judgement in final form on the 9th Day of September 2014. The public prosecutor was Mr Pranay Rai.
Judgement in final form: Sunil Rai, found guilty u/s 376 (2)(1) /212 of the Indian Penal Code read with Sec 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, sentenced to Rigorous Imprisonment for life and a fine of Rs 50,000/-. Prabal Pradhan is found guilty under Section 212 of the I.P.C. for harbouring the said accused and an addition fine of Rs 1000 in default an addition imprisonment for three months. The victim girl is entitled to get compensation from the state Government u/s 357 Cr.P.C. and from the State Government and District Legal Service Authority, Darjeeling u/s 357 A of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The uniqueness of the case: This is the first case in the district where such speedy trials within four months have ended in life imprisonment under POCSO Act 2012 in the absence of Fast Track Court in Darjeeling.
Following the Court verdict the father of victim said, “We are very happy with the verdict and coming from a very poor family never believed such justice would be delivered. This judgement must be published everywhere such that no such incidents like against our daughter can happen or will be attempted. I thank Mr Pranay Rai, Public Prosecutor who selflessly and sincerely helped and supported us in fighting the case and also extend my thankfulness to the I.O. Mr Saurav Ghosh and the S.P. Mr Akhilesh Chaturbedi for rendering all help.
Meanwhile, Darjeeling chief public prosecutor Mr. Pranay Rai expressed satisfaction over the verdict and said, "Rape is not only a Crime against the opposite sex but a crime against the entire society. It destroys not only the physicality but also the psychology of women and in this case a girl child who has not even seen the path of life. Rape is an offence against the basic human rights and also a violation of ones fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21, of the Indian Constitution. It is only through the Judiciary and conviction that can deter such crimes and can play a pivotal role as an instrument of social change. Darjeeling Court has set an axiomatic example that- law prevails".
Remarkably, this is the third case of life imprisonment after swearing in office by Pranay Rai as a chief public prosecutor since December 20, 2013.

Source: DT

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