| Sunil More: Behind bars
Mumbai, April 3: A daylight rape in a police post that had blackened Mumbai’s image met with speedy justice today with sacked constable Sunil More sentenced to 12 years’ rigorous imprisonment.
Women’s organisations lauded the conviction that comes within a year of the assault on a 17-year-old college girl yards from the Marine Drive promenade. But a dissatisfied state government planned to appeal in Bombay High Court for the “deterrent” punishment of a life term.
More had shown no remorse and had set about drinking immediately after the rape as if to celebrate the act, the prosecution told the additional sessions judge. It argued that such an attack on a minor by a man supposed to protect citizens deserved the highest punishment in the book for rape: jail for life.
But the judge noted that More was the sole earner in a family that includes his ailing mother, unmarried sister and seven-year-old child.
Asked by the judge if he had anything to say, More claimed he was framed by his bosses. “You should have given me the death sentence'. I don’t want to live in such a biased society,” he said.
The judge said that though the medical reports weren’t conclusive, the testimony of the victim at the in-camera trial was enough for a conviction. The defence will appeal.
On April 21 last year, More had spotted the girl and a male friend on the waterfront and summoned them to the police post. Having scared the duo by threatening to book them for indecent behaviour, he sent the boy off to fetch money for a fine and locked himself in with the girl.
The public outcry prompted the police to take the unusual step of sacking the accused before a verdict.
After the prosecution filed the charge-sheet and lined up 27 witnesses on July 12, Bombay High Court ordered the trial completed by April 30.
More has been fined Rs 25,000 for the rape as well as sums of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 for confinement and intimidation, all of which will be handed to the victim’s family.
The last two charges also brought separate jail terms of three and six months, which would run concurrently with the 12-year sentence. The period More has already spent in jail will be deducted from the term. More was cleared of the charges of misbehaviour and being drunk on duty.