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14-year rape sentence

New Delhi, Dec. 10: The lone arrested accused in the 2005 gang-rape of a Mizo student of Delhi University was today sentenced to 14 years’ rigorous imprisonment but his three accomplices continue to evade the law.

Ajit Singh Katiyar, 30, accused of raping the then 20-year-old woman in a moving car with three others, had been convicted on Tuesday based on the victim’s statement.

The prosecution had sought a life term while the defence had pleaded for leniency citing the humble origins of the convict — a driver with a Noida call centre when the gang-rape took place on May 8, 2005.

Katiyar, arrested on May 13 after the victim identified him at a test parade, had apparently broken down under interrogation but has not revealed anything about the others.

The police, who claim to have questioned nearly 1,000 people — most of them criminals and past rapists — say they have no clue about the missing trio. The number-plate of the black Santro in which the crime was committed, as noted down by a witness, had turned out to be fake.

Medical evidence had established sexual intercourse and the presence of a sedative in the victim’s stomach. The court found Katiyar guilty of gang-rape, abduction, criminal intimidation, administering an intoxicant and group liability, and fined him Rs 20,000.

On Tuesday, additional sessions judge Neeraj Kumar Gupta had rebuked the defence counsel for raising the subject of the victim’s live-in relationship and active sex life. “It cannot be said that a lady who has already lost her virginity is an unreliable lady. If a victim has lost virginity, it cannot give the licence to any person to rape her,” the judge said.

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