Friday, May 6, 2011

HC upholds 12-yr jail term for rapist cop

Mumbai: Six years after the Marine Drive police chowky rape case, the Bombay high court (HC) on Friday upheld the 12-year jail term for dismissed Mumbai police constable Sunil More (40), convicted for raping a 17-year-old girl.
“On careful consideration of the evidence brought on the record, in our view, the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the charges levelled against the accused,” a division bench of Justices P V Hardas and M N Gilani said while ruling that a trial court had rightly convicted More on charges of rape, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement.
The HC dismissed More’s appeal against his conviction, while rejecting the state’s plea to enhance the dismissed constable’s punishment and send him to prison for life.
Additional public prosecutor K V Saste had argued that More, who had a duty to protect people, particularly women, children and the helpless, had betrayed the confidence reposed in him and had brought a bad name to the police force.
On April 21, 2005, the victim and her friend were seated near a parapet wall on Marine Drive. The victim was taken to the police chowky, where More threatened to book them for indecent acts and demanded Rs 5,000. While the boy was sent off to arrange the money, More allegedly raped the girl.
Atrial court in 2006 had held More guilty of rape and told him to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation. Challenging the order, More’s lawyers Prakash Wagh and V B Sudade said the medical report did not support the rape theory.
The victim had said More had consumed liquor and raped her thrice. The HC referred to the medical report, which said there was “incomplete sexual intercourse”. The judges said it did not contradict the victim’s story, “for the reason that possibly in all the three attempts, he could not penetrate completely. However, he slept over her and tried to penetrate and the (victim) while narrating this naturally stated that she was raped thrice”. The HC said the victim was barely 17 and was not a grown-up lady. “In the light of these circumstances, her testimony is to be appreciated. This is what is expected from a girl of her age,” said the HC, while adding that under the law, penetration was sufficient to attract a charge of rape.
The HC said, “There was overwhelming evidence...”

• Sunil More held on April 21, 2005, for raping 17-year-old girl in Marine Drive police chowky
• Sessions court holds More guilty of rape, sentences him to 12 years’ imprisonment on April 3, 2006
• More challenges verdict in HC, moves for bail twice, but plea is dismissed each time
• SC tells HC to expedite hearing of appeal in Oct 2010
• HC upholds 12-year prison term for More on May 6, 2011

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