Staff Reporter

Kozhikode: The Kozhikode Fast Track Court-I, on Thursday, sentenced a couple to five years' rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs.50,000 on each of them for running a sex racket using two girls from the After Care Home here three years ago.

P.D. Dharmarajan, judge, found Thodiyarathara Balaji, 41, and his wife, Sujatha, 38, hailing from Balaramapuram in Thiruvananthapuram district, guilty of forcing the 18-year-old girls into flesh trade.

The court ordered that if the fine was paid, the amount should be given to the victims. Otherwise, the couple would have to spend another year in prison.

The city police investigated the case following the disappearance of the girls from the After Care Home at Vellimadukunnu in July 2007. The couple had induced the girls by providing them facilities for enrolment in nursing colleges. But instead the girls were forced into the sex trade.

The police charged the accused under Section 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to illicit relationship) of the Indian Penal Code. The court examined eight witnesses and seven documents.

More In: KERALA | NATIONAL