The prime accused of the sensational Leihaopokpi hillock gang rape case of Manipur has been sentenced to rigorous lifetime imprisonment by the additional sessions judge of the Fast Track Court, Crime Against Women, Manipur, A Noutuneshwari Devi, on Wednesday.
Two of his accomplishes were also awarded 20 years of rigorous imprisonment each with fines.
This is the first in the country that a court has awarded life imprisonment to any person convicted of gang rape after the amendment of Indian Penal Code 376.
The prime accused, Khuraijam Bungbung (30), and the two co-accused Nongthombam Bocha alias Biren Singh (43) and Khuraijam Khamba Singh (26), were pronounced guilty by the Court on December 18.
“The crime committed by the convicts is not only injustice to the victim of the crime in particular but also to the society as a whole”, an order of the court while pronouncing the sentence stated.
The court also ordered for providing compensation of Rs two lakhs to the victim from the scheme ‘Financial Assistance and Support Service to Victim of Rape’, a scheme for retrospective justice, launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The defence counsel argued that the accused have their own families and there is no previous crime antecedent in their past and prayed for leniency while the sentences were pronounced to the convicts.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the prime convict and Rs 5,000 each on the co-convicts and in default of payment of fine the convicts are to undergo three months simple imprisonment.
The court also ordered that the said fine of Rs 20,000 in total shall be deposited to the court and to be handed over to the victim as compensation.