A POCSO court in Chennai sentenced eight people to life imprisonment on Monday, 26 September, for raping and pushing a teenage girl into prostitution, while a police inspector, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary and journalist were among 13 people given a 20-year jail term each for their involvement in the case.
The special court constituted to deal with cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, had convicted all 21 accused in the case on 15 September and announced the quantum of sentences on Monday.
Besides the jail term, the court's presiding officer M Rajalakshmi directed the government to pay Rs 5 lakh to the victim as compensation.
The fine amounts imposed on the 21 people, which would come to about Rs 2 lakh, should also be given to her, the judge said.
The life term convicts included the stepfather and stepmother of the victim. Suspended inspector C Pugalendhi, attached to Ennore police station; BJP functionary G Rajendran and Vinobaji, a journalist working at a private media channel, were among those who were given 20 years jail term.
The case was registered by the All Women Police in Washermenpet against 26 people following a complaint from the victim's mother and the charge sheet, running to more than 560 pages, was filed in November 2020.
Of the 26 accused, four absconded and one person died during the pendency of the case. The case was split and the prosecution pursued the case against the remaining 21 accused.
The case was in the limelight as the victim, just 13-years-old then, was raped by more than 100 people and forced into prostitution and it had the involvement of a police inspector, a politician and a journalist.