TURA, March 24 � The six convicted in the December 13, 2012 Williamnagar gang-rape case were today awarded 10 years of rigorous imprisonment besides a fine of Rs 5,000 each by a fast track court here.
Ad-Hoc Judge ND Sangma pronounced the sentence. �This court is mandated to consider all circumstances bearing on the question of sentence and impose a sentence commensurate with the crime committed�, he said. The order also stated that if the convicts failed to pay the fine the sentence would be increased by another six months.
The six sentenced today are Laston Marak, Tobath Sangma alias Patrick, Platon C Marak, Chengchow D Sangma, Kisen N Marak and Chingkam Ch Marak alias Chiong. All of the convicts are between the ages of 18-20 years when the crime was committed.
The incident took place in Williamnagar, East Garo Hills during the Winter Festival being held at the time. A gang of sixteen first assaulted the victim before taking turns raping her. The defence counsel argued for a sentence lesser than the minimum prescribed under the law. The reasons he cited were � (a) accused were very young and hence they have a long life ahead of them, (b) accused had been drinking during the Winter Festival and were inebriated and hence unaware of the seriousness of the offence, (c) it was mob mentality and hence no one was responsible for the actions of the others, (d) all the accused are first time offenders and hence they are not a menace to society.
The defence advocate, ML Thangal sought the minimum possible sentence for the six gang-rape convicts. �The crime was not pre-planned and all accused are just above 18. They should be given scope for reformation�, said Thangal.
The Public Prosecutor PL Sebastian asked for imposition of the minimum punishment of ten years of rigorous imprisonment.
The Ad-Hoc Judge reading the sentence, said, �This court finds no special reason to award a sentence lesser than the minimum prescribed for the offence of gang rape under section 376 (2) (g) IPC�.
The court said, �The fine amounts, if and when deposited shall be paid to the rape victim through her parents�.
None of the parents of the convicts were in Court for the sentencing. The convicts were free to apply to a higher Court to attempt a reversal in the conviction.