A 50-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a local court for ravishing his minor niece, allowing others to gangrape her and forcing her into prostitution.
The court convicted Uttar Pradesh resident Pannu for six offences -- rape, gangrape, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy, wrongful confinement and procuring the girl for prostitution.
Additional sessions judge Virender Bhat sentenced Pannu to 10 years rigorous imprisonment for conspiracy, 10 years jail for rape, 14 years for immoral trafficking and life term, saying the sentences would not run concurrently.
The court said the crime committed by the convict was "abhorrent, diabolic and barbaric." It said he had brought the minor from her village after her father's death on the assurance that he would take care of her, but he ill-treated her and made her "prey of his sexual lust".
"He did not stop at that, but made her consume liquor forcibly and then do nude dance, after which she was gangraped by the convict and his associates. Even after this, the convict had no mercy for the minor girl and forced her into prostitution.
"The convict had been doing all this with the tacit approval of his wife," the judge said.
The court said the "beastly and dastardly" acts of Pannu, who was brother of the victim's father, are unpardonable and make him liable for exemplary sentence. It said this was a case of incestuous rape which calls for maximum possible punishment.
A complaint was made to National Human Rights Commission by the employer of the girl after she told her that Pannu used to sexually abuse her and his wife was party to it. A case was lodged against the accused by the police.
The girl had also told the court that after the death of her father, her uncle Pannu and aunt had brought her to Delhi to look after her in 2003 as her mother had left them earlier.