The Fourth Additional District and Sessions Court here, on Saturday, sentenced two youths convicted of raping a minor girl from Odisha at the Central Railway Station on July 14, 2010, to rigorous life imprisonment.
It also imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 each, to be given to the victim, failing which they would be liable to undergo an extra simple imprisonment for two years.
“A proper message has to go to the people at large,” Additional Sessions Judge B K Naik said as he pronounced the judgement. The court, on September 17, had held Ashok from Kadeshivalya and Nishith from Athavar guilty of the crime and had reserved the pronouncement of the quantum of punishment for Saturday.
The judge said the crime was more heinous for it was committed by railway employees. The gravity and nature of crime is entirely different in this case. Therefore, the plea for sympathy and leniency while awarding punishment is not acceptable.
Referring to the Supreme Court judgement in the case of Shyam Narain vs the State of National Capital Territory of Delhi on May 15, 2013, judge Naik said, “We must remember that a rapist not only violates the victim’s privacy and personal integrity, but also inevitably causes serious psychological as well as physical harm in the process. Rape is not merely a physical assault – it is often destructive of the whole personality of the victim.”
Railways to compensate
The judgement pointed out lack of security provided by the Railways and police at the station and ordered the Railways to offer fair compensation to the victim.
The judge did not pronounce the quantum of compensation to be given and left it to the Railways to decide.
“The victim was gang-raped by railway employees in a railway compartment in the railway station, which makes it evident that Railways and the police have not given enough security to passengers,” he said.
The court also directed to forward the judgement copy to the chairman of the Railway Board in Delhi. Public prosecutor Manjunath Bhat has welcomed the judgement.
The 15-year-old girl from Odisha, who was serving as a maid in a house near Kadri, was misguided and gangraped in the railway station.
Of the four accused, Nishith and Shamisha from Payyanur in Kerala were regular employees (mechanics) with the Railways, while Ashok was a box boy. Another accused Abdul Sattar, a tea vendor in the station, was acquitted by the court in the last hearing.
The prime accused Shamisha is absconding since the incident took place. The two convicted have served three years in prison.