|Lime imprisonment for Teesta Rape Case guilty Sunil Rai|
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.