Mangalore, Oct 18, 2014: The VI Additional District and Sessions Court, also a special court for rape cases, on Friday convicted a 26-year-old autorickshaw driver for the rape of a 14-year-old school student. This is the second judgment by the court since its inception in January.
According to the charge-sheet, the girl had, on September 13, 2012, been to her school with her mother to receive a bicycle given by the government. She returned with her mother with the bicycle to her house in Belthangady taluk. Later, the girl left for her uncle’s house a kilometre away.
Harish Gowda, autorickshaw driver, offered to drop her in the autorickshaw to her uncle’s house. Midway, Harish Gowda’s friend, Dinesh, also boarded the vehicle and then got off it near his (Dinesh’s house). Harish Gowda, however, did not drop the girl at her uncle’s house. Instead, he took her to an isolated forest area and raped her in the evening, the police said in the charge-sheet. Harish Gowda then threatened her that he would hurt her, if she revealed the incident to anyone else.
The frightened girl, however, revealed the incident a week later to her mother, who filed a complaint before the Uppinangady police on September 21, 2012. Harish Gowda was arrested on September 24 and the police filed the charge-sheet in December 2012.
Public Prosecutor K. Shivprasad Alva examined 18 witnesses that included the 14-year-old girl and Harish Gowda’s friend Dinesh.
The judge, S.H. Pushpanjali Devi, convicted Harish Gowda under Section 376 (rape), 363 (kidnap) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. The order of the sentence for the offences will be pronounced on Tuesday.
The judge had, on April 27 this year, convicted a 32-year-old man for raping a 17-year-old girl, a distant relative, in Belthangady on May 14, 2012. There are 64 cases of sexual assault pending trial before this special court.
Courtesy: The Hindu