Sambalpur: A fast track court in Odisha on Saturday evening awarded life imprisonment to five accused involved in a gangrape case.
The sixth accused, a juvenile, was sent to a correction home.
The case was heard by Additional District Judge (ADJ) Santosh Panda, who completed the hearing while holding the court for 14 hours at a stretch.
The court delivered the verdict within a record 30 days. The court also slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 each on the accused.
The six accused are Afzal Raja, Tinu Sahu, Hadu Panchabihar, Ashirvad Behera, Abhilash Panchabihar and a minor of Sason Bazaaarpada here.
They all were found guilty under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
On May 2, a 14-year-old girl from Sasan town in the district was gang-raped by six people including a minor.
Unable to bear the trauma, the girl later committed suicide by hanging herself when her family members were away at work.
The prosecution had 21 witnesses who were asked to be present on Saturday.
The Sambalpur police after completing the probe had filed charge sheet within 15 days.
Sambalpur superintendent of police Sanjiv Arora said though the victim had committed suicide their purpose was to give speedy justice for her family.
The locals and intellectuals said the quick verdict delivered within 30 days would boost public faith in the judicial system of the country.
On the other hand, defence counsel Pritiranjan Patnaik alleged the verdict was ‘one-sided’ and they would move the higher court....