Special Correspondent

44-year-old man forced teen to submit to his desires

CHENNAI: The Mahila Court here has found a 44-year-old man guilty of raping a 19-year-old girl, and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years besides a fine of Rs. 50,000. The fine amount shall be equally divided between the victim and her baby, ruled R. Mohandoss, presiding officer of the court, on Tuesday.

According to the prosecution, Iqbal alias Iqbalkhan had tricked the victim into believing that he was a "sorcerer" and that he possessed powers to inflict "divine displeasure" on the girl and her parents. While her mother was working in Kuwait, her partially blind father was with the girl. The accused deceived and intimidated the girl into submission on several occasions in 2004. She became pregnant and delivered a girl child.

Based on a complaint from the victim's mother, police arrested Iqbal and booked him for rape, criminal intimidation and other offences.

Mr. Mohandoss, citing the result of the DNA test conducted on the accused, said it was "conclusive proof." Concluding that the prosecution had "clearly established the guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable doubt," the Judge said he should suffer rigorous imprisonment for 10 years.

On two other counts he sentenced him to undergo lesser periods of imprisonment, but ruled that the sentences should be undergone concurrently.

While Rs. 25,000 out of Rs. 50,000 shall be paid to the victim, the rest of the sum should be kept in a fixed deposit in a nationalised bank in the name of the child, the Judge said.

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